Legendary rock musician Tom Petty died on Monday, his longtime manager confirmed early on Tuesday morning. Petty, 66, suffered cardiac arrest at his Malibu house and could not be revived at the hospital. 

It was a way-too-early death (aren't they all?) for a rock star who was perhaps best identified by his longevity: Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, released their first album in 1976 and their third efffort, "Damn the Torpedoes",hit No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 1979. Petty also found massive commercial success in the MTV era with his "Greatest Hits" album (featuring "Mary Jane's Last Dance" as a new single) in 1993 and "Wildflowers," which was a FM radio rotation staple for several years beginning in 1994. His anthemic country rock style managed to attract fans across multiple generations. 

Petty was an easy choice as an act for the Super Bowl halftime show, and he put on a pretty incredible performance during Super Bowl XLII, following the 2007 NFL season. That was, yes, the undefeated Patriots team playing against the Giants in the first matchup of Tom Brady and Eli Manning. It would, yes, feature the David Tyree catch.

But it also featured Petty crushing four songs on a large guitar-shaped stage. 

Petty kicked things off with "American Girl," a 1976 song from the Heartbreakers self-titled debut album. It's a song that just doesn't age. He followed that up with the aggressive "Won't Back Down," from 1989's "Full Moon Fever." Next up was "Free Fallin'," probably the top commercial single song Petty ever produced, also from "Full Moon Fever." Then the rocker and his band capped it off with a rousing performance of "Runnin' Down a Dream," the third straight song from "Full Moon Fever" to close out a strong four-song performance.

There are probably plenty of Giants fans who identify with "Won't Back Down," considering the Giants were huge underdogs in this game.

Petty's career is kind of fascinating because there might not be anyone with a higher floor in terms of production and longevity. You could argue that Petty's ceiling was relatively capped -- he was never going to be some transcendent performer like a Prince or a David Bowie. That's not an insult: he cranked out big-time hits for more than 30 years and wrote music that not only appealed to multiple generations at a time, but still appeals to people of all ages. 

That set defined it too -- he wasn't going to change the world with his set. He was just going to crank out the hits and give everyone a great time. He did that well too, with a performance that ranked No. 13 in colleague Nate Peterson's Super Bowl halftime show rankings.

Look at the glee on the faces of those people in the halftime show, when he's blasting out songs that were written 20 and 30 years earlier and still completely rocked in the moment back in 2008.

If you're diving down a Petty nostalgia trip, I would also recommend the 2004 Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with Prince. It's a face melter.

R.I.P. Tom Petty, gone too soon. Thanks for all the music.