Sam Smith to Pay Tom Petty Royalties for ‘Stay With Me’
Sam Smith’s heartbreaking ballad ‘Stay With Me’ was, undoubtedly, one of the biggest songs of 2014. However, there was speculation that the piano melody sounds similar to Tom Petty’s 1989 tune ‘I Won’t Back Down.’ Well, it turns out Petty is now a co-writer of the Grammy-nominated single.
Smith’s reps cleared the air and sent the FADER a statement to inform them that the British crooner acknowledged the melodic similarities and agreed to revise the publishing on the single. So now the song is credited to Petty and Jeff Lynne (who also co-wrote ‘I Won’t Back Down’), as well as the original songwriters Smith, James Napier and William Phillips.
To be clear, Smith's 'Stay With Me' having the same melodic riff as 'I Won't Back Down' was purely coincidental and not a case of stealing or sampling. Occasionally, these things happen in the music business, but it's very rare.
According to reports, Smith's attorneys have agreed to pay Petty 12.5 percent royalty on the song, which means the rock veteran is going to get paid handsomely -- and he didn’t even write a single lyric. Forget about a musical windfall, Petty has hit the lottery.
We also have to give props to Smith and Petty for solving this situation amicably without taking it to court.
But what do you think? Does Sam Smith's tune sound exactly the same as Tom Petty's classic 1989 song? Tell us in the comments below.