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Sam Smith Will Pay Tom Petty Royalties for 'Stay With Me'

Sam Smith Will Pay Tom Petty Royalties for 'Stay With Me'

Sam Smith has agreed to pay the legendary singer Tom Petty royalties from his song “Stay With Me.”

The decision came after Tom and his collaborator Jeff Lynne noticed that the song was very similar to their song “I Won’t Back Down.” They reached out to Sam‘s reps and both teams came to an agreement amicably.

“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,” Sam‘s rep said in a statement to Billboard. “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.”

Listen to “I Won’t Back Down” and decide if the songs sound alike!

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – I Won’t Back Down
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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Music, Sam Smith, Tom Petty

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  • Маргарита Бабовникова

    Sad story.

    Shame on Tom Petty.

  • iatavalanche

    Shame on Tom Petty for getting paid for his work. What a bastard.

  • mtrav16

    This is a joke, if these two songs are that much alike, then everything ever recorded sounds alike. I’ve heard many more songs that sound like others and really do, this does not.

  • kellyf

    I would have never thought of that, but I can definitely hear it now. Also, I feel like that’s a song a musician should at least be a little familiar with.

  • thelogic

    If you listen to any of the current top 10, you will find past records that might have similar sounds. I am not convinced in this case.

  • Larry

    If the two songs sound similar coincidentally, then no royalties should be paid. The quick agreement to pay royalties leads me to believe the songwriters did in fact “borrow” from Petty’s original.

  • Shawn
  • Stephanie Rainey

    Boy, this guy is NOT having a good week, man, the price of fame to an already seemingly fragile ego

  • Маргарита Бабовникова

    His work — his song. Sam’s song is not his work.

    He knows it, he just need some money now.

    Song similarities is not very rare occasions, read about it more. Melody structures is very, very common in music, million songs sound like another million songs. Tom Petty as musician knows it very well but anyway decide to get some money because law (created by lawyers, not musicians) let him do it.

  • Guest

    The trouble with people from generation x and beyond is that they haven’t paid enough attention to the singers/song writers of the past who truly blazed paths in the early stages of the modern music industry. Perhaps if you expand your musical horizons and tap into the wealth of incredible music that came before you were born you would realize that SO MUCH of today’s music has not only been influenced by but is at times a complete rip off of what came before it. Record producers are banking on the fact that you won’t catch this because your so brainwashed into thinking what was is irrelevant, and what is now is all that matters. This isn’t the only case where royalties should be paid, and I honestly think this might spur a movement of older artists to call bullshit on the stars of today who are stealing their work!

  • Маргарита Бабовникова

    Do you speak about Mozart?

  • Gina

    Ah, why so petty Tom? You couldn’t just let the kid have this one? You can’t possibly be that hard up for cash.

  • Shenanigans

    its business and this is what older artists live off.

  • Gina

    Yeah, that’s the problem. It’s just business to these people. All I see is them rubbing their hands together & licking their lips over this new windfall.

  • Bill Donnelly

    I don’t think you would be so quick to reply with these words, if it was something which you poured your heart and soul into, which was being copied, and you were watching someone walk off with Grammy awards for it.

  • Merlot

    First thing that came to my mind when I heard Stay with me was Won’t Back Down. Blatant rip off.

  • Magic Troll

    Tom Petty is one petty bastard. Lawsuits are super awesome for music as a whole. We need some stupid judge deciding the relevancy of a chord progression and melody? That’s fucking crazy! Music and law go about as well as together as religion and … well, just religion. These laws benefit those only who are petty out there (Wendy Carlos, I’m talking at you). Jay Z getting sued for a 1/2 second vocal sound; and that’s cool too @iatavalanche? Gees, if I had a nickel for every time anyone sampled the Amen break…

  • Gina

    The similarity between the songs aren’t strong and blatant. It was clearly an accident. You’re acting like he ripped off the lyrics too.

  • Jeff Cowdery

    The two songs sound nothing alike get a grip tom petty stealing money off Sam Smith you should be ashamed you has been old man hahahaha

  • Guest

    Really ? Petty needs money ? Get an effing clue dumbass.