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Tom Petty’s song sales surge nearly 6,800% after his death

Tom Petty is shown at his Malibu home just days before his death. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
Tom Petty is shown at his Malibu home just days before his death. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

In the days since Tom Petty's death, fans have turned to the rock star’s music — and, in turn, sales from his back catalog have spiked dramatically.

Petty’s discography has seen 6,781% growth in song sales following his death, according to data analysis company BuzzAngle Music.

On average, the four days prior to his passing saw the musician log 950 tracks sold. That number surged to 60,000 on Monday and Tuesday. The news that Petty had been hospitalized after going into cardiac arrest broke around noon on Monday, setting off a flurry of premature reports of his demise. He died that evening. 

The song fans have turned to the most is 1989’s “Free Fallin,’” followed by “I Won’t Back Down” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” which became a trending topic Monday as people posted lyrics on social media.

“You Don’t Know How It Feels,” “Learning to Fly,” “American Girl” and “Wildflowers” also saw massive surges in consumption.

Petty’s top-selling albums in the days after his death were 1993’s “Greatest Hits” collection, “Wildflowers,” “Anthology: Through the Years,” “Damn the Torpedoes” and “Full Moon Fever,” according to Nielsen Music. 

In addition, streaming service Pandora reported additions of Petty stations increased by 8,962%.

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FOR THE RECORD

3:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this article said song sales spiked Sunday. They spiked Monday and Tuesday. 

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