Taylor Swift "idolised" the late Tom Petty.
The 'Free Fallin' hitmaker passed away on Monday (10.02.17) at the age of 66 after suffering a cardiac arrest, and 27-year-old musician Taylor has taken a moment to praise his style of songwriting as "complex simplicity", which she says is something that "motivated" her in her own music career.
In a statement released to Rolling Stone magazine, the 'Look What You Made Me Do' hitmaker said: "To me, Tom Petty represented a kind of songwriting I idolised: complex simplicity. It said so much in the lyrics, the concepts, the stories, the message, the nuances ... but always brought you back to a hook that got stuck in everyone's head. He motivated thousands of guitarists to learn to play just because they wanted to be able to play 'Free Fallin'. Count me as one of them."
Since the news of his passing, celebrity tributes have poured in for the late music icon, including a touching message from his close pal Bob Dylan, with whom he co-founded supergroup Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.
Bob, 76, said in a statement: "It's shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I'll never forget him."
Meat Loaf, 70, also praised Tom as a "great rocker", and insisted the star's hit music will ensure he "still lives with us".
He wrote on Facebook: "More sad news today with Passing another great Rocker Tom Petty , Great Writer with classic songs that marked a time in many peoples lives , loving fans who he also loved . The world lost a great one today . He still lives with us in his music . As his daughter said earlier today a normal guy who loved what he did . Our prayers go out to Tom and his family .(sic)"
He also wrote: "Gone too soon !! Tom lives on with the memories he left us, and the love he gave . Prayers to Tom and his family (sic)"
Meanwhile, Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, confirmed the musician had passed away.
He said in a statement: "On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends."