Music lovers around the world mourn the loss of legendary rock musician Tom Petty, who died Monday, October 2. While the 66-year-old musician had not been largely recognized as a loud political voice, the final performances of his career notably took a strong stand with the transgender community.
Petty performed just last week at the Hollywood Bowl, saying the shows there would be the "last big one." Before that, he performed in New York's Forest Hills Stadium, where, during his performance of "American Girl," he included a photo of transgender actress Alexis Arquette in a slideshow of diverse women showing onstage behind him. That show happened July 27, the same day Trump banned transgender people from serving in the military.
Arquette, who passed away last September, was remembered by her brother, actor David Arquette, who thanked Petty for standing with trans women:
A post shared by David Arquette (@davidarquette) on
Petty made a few other political moves in his career: in 2000, he sent a cease-and-desist to George W. Bush for using his song "I Won't Back Down" on the campaign trail. He sent a similar letter to Republican Michele Bachmann in 2012 for her use of "American Girl." Conversely, he told Rolling Stonehe "got chills" when Obama used "I Won't Back Down" at the 2012 Democratic convention.