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Tom Petty praised for transgender salute in concert video

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers are being saluted for an inadvertent swipe at Donald Trump's tweet banning transgender citizens from U.S. military service. According to, during their Wednesday night (July 26th) concert at New York City's Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, Petty and the band, "performed an encore finale of the song 'American Girl,' with the screen behind him lit up with a massive photo of the late transgender actress Alexis Arquette, who died of AIDS complications in 2016, and other diverse women. The shot has been included in the tour for weeks, but took on new significance for audience members in light of recent events."

Although the shot of Alexis had been part of the montage throughout the tour, the actress' brother, actor David Arquette, took time to tweet the clip featuring his sister with the message: Thank you #tompetty for your #americangirl tribute that included #alexisarquette and thank you @faderfam for finding it and @rosannaarquette for getting it in there."

Tom Petty, who is on the road celebrating the 40th anniversary of his and the Heartbreakers' first album, makes no bones of the fact that whatever he's gotten as a musician over the decades has been due to his connection and bond with his audience: "There were times when I really had to work and hustle. I never felt like a got a huge promo from the music business. I don't think they ever held me up and made things easy for me. My audience is what's made me survive, actually. It's actually the people we play to and that buy the records that have made us a sort of, contradiction."

Photo by Mark Horton |  Getty Images

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