The dispute between Smith’s smash 2014 hit and Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” was settled last year regarding the payments.
UPDATE: In a statement given to Rolling Stone, Sam Smith’s reps acknowledge the similarities between the songs and confirmed that “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,” the statement read. “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.”
EARLIER: Turns out, everyone agrees with Tom Petty’s lawyers. Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” sounds oddly similar to Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” and Smith will now have to pay him royalties for the song.
Back when Smith’s smash single came out, many listeners drew comparisons between the two tracks. In a story on Medium, Ed Rex even noted that there were identical notes, chords, rhythms and pitches.
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