An estimated 90,000 fans paid tribute to Tom Petty during Saturday’s college football matchup between the University of Florida Gators and the Louisiana State University Tigers when the entire crowd burst into a mass sing-a-long of the late rocker’s 1989 anthem “I Won’t Back Down”.
Petty, who passed away of cardiac arrest at age 66 on Monday, was born in Gainesville, Florida, a fact that was not lost on the Floridians in the crowd at the University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
The late rocker received numerous tributes over the past week, with such artists as Sheryl Crow, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus and Jason Aldean performing covers of his songs (the latter taking place during s surprise opening segment of “Saturday Night Live”).
Yet for sheer scale, it’s tough to beat the epic appeal of nearly 100,000 voices joining together to burst into what, by all accounts, was a completely spontaneous outburst.
“Clearly every fan in the building knew every word,” LSU Tiger Rag editor Cody Worsham told The Hollywood Reporter.
Check out footage of the sing-a-long below:
While the fan response at the stadium was through the roof, that was nothing compared to the response the spontaneous sing-a-long received on Twitter: