Tom Petty's family have confirmed that the singer died of an accidental drug overdose.
In a moving statement posted online the family of the rock 'n' roll icon confirmed his cause of death, and also the health problems he endured during his final years.
It seems that decades of heavy touring took their toll on Tom Petty's body, with the family writing:
Unfortunately Tom’s body suffered from many serious ailments including emphysema, knee problems and most significantly a fractured hip. Despite this painful injury he insisted on keeping his commitment to his fans and he toured for 53 dates with a fractured hip and, as he did, it worsened to a more serious injury.
On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication.
The news comes as America's opioid crisis worsens, and the release of the statement is intended to highlight this. It reads:
As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.
The statement ends by thanking fans for their support since the tragic news broke:
On a positive note we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, for one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans on the biggest tour of his 40 plus year career. He was extremely proud of that achievement in the days before he passed.
We continue to mourn with you and marvel at Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' incredible positive impact on music and the world. And we thank you all for your love and support over the last months.
Read the full statement below.
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