On Oct. 2, 2017, the music community lost three-time GRAMMY winner Tom Petty, a true songwriter's songwriter. The Gainesville, Fla., native's songbook was filled with numerous classic rock hits, including "Refugee," "Breakdown," "Free Fallin'," "I Won't Back Down," and "Mary Jane's Last Dance." In 2017 he was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his creative accomplishments and philanthropic efforts.
"Tom was a true rock and roll purist, both in his music and his defiant spirit," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "With the Heartbreakers, his infectious riffs, rebellious personality, and inventive songwriting brought a new urgency to rock traditions and fueled a now legendary career and some of the most memorable music of the last four decades."