Guess everyone (including Tom Petty‘s lawyers) agrees that Sam Smith‘s “Stay With Me” sounds A LOT like Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.” In a statement given to Rolling Stone, Smith’s reps acknowledge the similarities between the songs and “Stay With Me” is now co-credited to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne:
“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.”
Really, since when do you give co-credit for a “complete coincidence”? The dispute was apparently settled out of court last October, but details just emerged this weekend. A 12.5% writing credit was given to Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne.
“Stay With Me” has sold 4+ million copies worldwide and was HUGE song last year. It’s nominated for Best Pop Performance and Record of the Year at the Grammys. If it wins for Record of the Year, will Smith have to share the podium with Lynne & Petty. AWKWARD doesn’t cover it. (Turns out, according to Billboard, Petty & Lynne aren’t eligible for a Grammy, as they did no “writing.”) Nevertheless, Smith will now have to pay them royalties for the song, which is a big payday. Petty can use the $$ – he’s only got $75 million in the bank! Give a listen below and see what you think. It’s not like you need to here “Sstay With Me” for the 4000th time…
Hey, Madonna, you got those hackers… now get those lawyers of yours going through Lady Gaga‘s song catalogue –gotta be at least ONE “coincidence” in there you can get co-credit for?