Tom Petty's Widow Assures Singer's Archive Was Released For Fans, Not Money

Tom Petty's widow is setting the record straight about an exclusive box set being released in the late legend's honor.

“It was not an easy process for any of us,” Dana Petty told Billboard of the decision behind unveiling An American Treasurea 60-track collection of unheard material from her late husband's archives. “It was very emotional, and, especially at first, hearing the songs was brutal. But music is healing; it got easier.”

The rare set, which includes never-before-heard songs and live versions from Tom's canon, was curated as an honorable homage to the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers frontman who passed away from an accidental overdose last October at 66-years-old. 

Despite the sensitivity surrounding her decision to release the material, she believed "Tommy would be so proud of this." Seven months after receiving the spiritual blessing, Dana, Tom's daughter Adria, record producer Ryan Ulyate, and Heartbreakers members Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench worked to put all the gems together.

Still, Dana wants to clear the air on any speculation behind the archive's release — it's more a gift of Tom's life and legacy to his beloved followers than a profit opportunity.

“There’s so much more in the vault, so much more that we tried to put on this record, that everyone needs to hear,” Dana explained. “I just don’t want them to think we’re greedy, because it’s not about the money — it’s about getting the stuff out there for the world to love.”

An American Treasure arrives via Reprise September 28.

Photo: Getty Images

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