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Tom Petty Given Songwriting Credit For Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”

maxresdefaultBritish crooner Sam Smith had one of the biggest hits of 2014 with his song “Stay With Me,” but more than a few people noticed that its chorus bore a passing resemblance to Tom Petty’s 1989 classic “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty appeared to take notice, as well: reports surfaced in The Sun today stating that Petty and Smith reached a settlement after Petty’s lawyers threatened legal action. As a result, Petty will now receive a percentage of the royalties from Smith’s smash hit.

According to the terms of the settlement, “Stay With Me” will now be attributed to Petty and Jeff Lynne (who co-wrote “I Won’t Back Down” on Petty’s Full Moon Fever) as well as Smith and Jimmy Napes. Petty will also receive 12.5% of the royalties earned for “Stay With Me.”

A source close to the case (via Consequence Of Sound) said that Smith didn’t try to fight the litigation once it started. “After [the similarity between the songs] was pointed out to Sam’s camp, they didn’t try to fight it and amicably dished out royalties,” the source said. “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.”

The decision makes Petty a player for the Grammys this year: “Stay With Me” is up for Record Of The Year at the ceremony.


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