Taylor Swift has paid tribute to Tom Petty, admitting he “represented a kind of songwriting” she idolised.
The iconic musician died on 2 October aged 66 after suffering a cardiac arrest. Many musicians have come forward to offer their condolences to the Petty family and to remember the lasting impact the singer has left on the industry, with Look What You Made Me Do star Taylor the latest to do so.
In a chat with Rolling Stone magazine, Taylor reflected on how Tom was a massive inspiration for her, telling the outlet: “To me, Tom Petty represented a kind of songwriting I idolized: 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.”
Taylor has experience covering Tom, having recorded a version of his track American Girl during her Fearless tour.
Meanwhile, Tom’s music has experienced a huge increase in sales since his death. According to Nielsen Music, total sales of Tom’s music grew by a staggering 6,781 per cent on 2 and 3 October, selling 218,000 combined albums and song downloads, compared to the previous two days, 30 September and 1 October, when just 3,000 was sold.
His Greatest Hits album sold the most, with 32,000 copies, while his top-selling song, for the 2 to 3 October time period was Free Fallin, with 21,000 downloads. The tune was also the most streamed song, with 530,000 streams on 2 October, followed by Learning to Fly with 436,000 streams.