Tom Petty Gets Royalties, Songwriting Credit on Sam Smith's "Stay with Me"
Published Jan 26, 2015UK soul-pop crooner Sam Smith stormed the charts and racked up a bunch of Grammy nominations with his debut LP In the Lonely Hour last year, but he no longer holds the sole songwriting credit on his breakthrough single "Stay with Me."
Casual listeners weren't the only ones to spot a similarity between Smith's hit tune and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1989 song "Won't Back Down" — Petty's legal team sought action against the rising pop star last fall.
Back in October, Petty's lawyers settled out of court with Smith, though the details of the settlement just emerged over the weekend. In addition to Petty being awarded royalties, Petty and his "Won't Back Down" co-writer Jeff Lynne have been added to ASCAP's list of "Stay with Me" primary songwriters, with each musician given a 12.5 percent writing credit.
According to the Sun newspaper, a source closely linked to the case said: "When Sam's track was originally released, it was clear to a lot of musicians that there were notable similarities between the tracks. After it was pointed out to Sam's camp, they didn't try to fight it and amicably dished out royalties. It wasn't a deliberate thing, musicians are just inspired by other artists and Sam and his team were quick to hold up their hand when it was officially flagged."
You can compare the two similar-sounding tracks below.