Tom Petty
Musician Tom Petty speaks to guests after being inducted during the 47th Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in New York,in June 2016 Reuters

There have been conflicting reports over the condition of rock star Tom Petty who is seriously ill in hospital following a suspected cardiac arrest.

Paramedics rushed to his house in California on Sunday (1 October) following reports he had been found not breathing.

TMZ reported on Monday (2 October) that he was taken to a nearby hospital in Santa Monica and that had been on life support.

Medics had found a pulse but TMZ reported that he had no brain activity when he arrived at the hospital. A decision was made to switch it off, CBS reported.

However the initial claims of the star's death were retracted after Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said any information had been "inadvertently provided" and it apologised for "any inconvenience in this reporting".

TMZ later reported, citing unidentified sources, that Petty was not expected to live much longer but was "still clinging to life."

Representatives for the singer have not confirmed Petty's condition, Reuters reported.

Petty had only just wrapped up a tour last week at the Hollywood Bowl arena in Los Angeles. His latest album, Hypnotic Eye was the first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers record to top the US charts.

Petty dropped out of school aged 17 and joined his first band, Mudcrutch, inspired by the Beatles. In 1976, he formed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

His was the voice of rebellion right from the outset of his career in the 1970s. Songs such as The Waiting, You Got Lucky and I Won't Back Down topped the charts with most of his albums certified either gold or platinum and overall, he sold more than 80m albums.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Fellow artists were quick to pay tribute on Twitter. Sheryl Crow tweeted: "I love you so much. You are in my prayers."