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.