Sam Smith To Pay “Stay With Me” Royalties To Tom Petty For “Won’t Back Down” Similarities

Sam Smith & Tom Petty Photo: jam.canoe.ca

Although Sam Smith says it was by total accident that "Stay With Me" sounds like Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down", he is giving the lead singer of The Heartbreakers royalties from the hit and Grammy nominated song.

Smith and Petty along with co-writer Jeff Lynne of ELO came to a quiet agreement over "Stay With Me" and now Petty & Lynne have a co-writing credit and Sam's mega-hit.

Smith's rep had this to say:

"Recently the publishers for the song 'I Won't Back Down,' written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, contacted the publishers for 'Stay With Me,' written by Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips, about similarities heard in the melodies of the choruses of the two compositions," Smith's rep tells Rolling Stone. "Not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of 'Stay With Me' listened to 'I Won’t Back Down' and acknowledged the similarity."

"Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of 'Stay With Me' along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips."


Diagnosis: Although it was coincidental they sure settled without going to court over it.

Comments (5)
  1. sorry for my quick typing.

    I meant to say:

    Sam could have fought this & won if he wanted to.

    The 2 songs are not identical..


    What happened to enjoying ones GIFT, to just enjoy one’s gift?

  2. Sam could fought this & one if he wanted to.

    The 2 songs are not identical..


    What happened to enjoying ones gift, to just enjoy?

  3. Well, im happy at least Tom petty gets some money now every time that Sam smith garbage comes on the radio.

  4. Yeah, there’s a similarity but a weak argument overall.
    Tom Petty’s cool but this was a stretch.
    Anyway, glad they worked it out. How often do you see that in show biz?

  5. Another reason to dislike Tom Petty

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