Singer: Tom Petty

Tom Petty has never had a number one song on the Hot 100. In fact, he's only had one song in the top 10. But he's had an extended career of excellence, with The Heartbreakers, The Traveling Wilburys, and solo. Uploaded by tampabay.com.

Whether he was fronting The Heartbreakers, singing with the Traveling Wilburys, or recording as a solo artist, Tom Petty has always experienced success. His first album, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, wasn’t an immediate hit when released in 1976. But from the second album on, and all his solo and Wilburys albums, he’s at least achieved gold status. And his Greatest Hits is 10x Platinum.

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Several of the band’s songs are played regularly on classic rock stations, but didn’t make much of an impact on the singles chart: “Breakdown,” “Here Comes My Girl,” “Into the Great Wide Open,” and “American Girl.” Here are some that had more success on the Hot 100 Chart:

  • “Don’t Do Me Like That” (#10, 1979)
  • “Refugee” (#15, 1980)
  • “The Waiting” (#19, 1981)
  • “You Got Lucky” (#20, 1982)
  • “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (#13, 1985)
  • “I Won’t Back Down” (#12, 1989)
  • “Runnin’ Down a Dream” (#23, 1989)
  • “Free Fallin'” (#7, 1989)
  • “Learning to Fly” (#28, 1991)
  • “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” (#14, 1993)
  • “You Don’t Know How It Feels” (#13, 1994)

As you can see, Petty has enjoyed a career of sustained quality, but never been the flavor of the month. However, it’s a measure of the respect in which he’s held by his fellow artists that he was included with the Wilburys, a modest group that included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and ELO’s Jeff Lynne.

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