“Stay With Me,” at least as Tom Petty would have you believe, may have unknowingly been inspired by a Tom Petty song Sam Smith heard that, well, stayed with him. “Stay With Me” was released in April 2014, and Tom Petty’s lawyers immediately noticed that the hit song sounded very similar to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’s “I Won’t Back Down.” Now Sam Smith will have to pay Tom Petty songwriting royalties.
The Sun noted that Smith and Petty actually settled the lawsuit in October, but the news itself broke yesterday. The settlement included a 12.5% writing credit, with Petty and his co-writer (and ELO frontman) Jeff Lynne, as well as Smith and his co-writer Jimmy Napes, all listed as “chief songwriters” on the song’s official credits.
“After it was pointed out to Sam’s camp, they didn’t try to fight it and amicably dished out royalties,” a source close to the case told Consequence of Sound. “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.”
Check out both songs below.