January 26, 2015


Tom Petty Is Now Getting Royalties for Sam Smith's "Stay With Me"

Did you ever get déjà vu listening to Sam Smith's sexy "Stay With Me"? Ever find yourself helplessly recalling Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down"? Because Tom Petty did, and now Tom Petty's gettin' money.

A statement from Sam Smith's team says the English singer and his cowriters James Napier and William Phillips were "not previously familiar" with Tom Petty's 1989 composition with writing partner Jeff Lynne. (Smith was born three years after Full Moon Fever, Petty's debut solo album, which featured "I Won't Back Down" as its lead single.) "Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement," the statement says. Petty and Lynne now enjoy cowriter credits on "Stay With Me" and will take 25 percent of the song's royalties.

The U.K.'s Sun first reported the news, but YouTube detectives had been on the case since last summer. (Along with Michael Harrington, a "professional musicologist who specializes in federal copyright matters" who spoke to the USA Today about the similarities.) User envanligfjant uploaded a sharp breakdown of the echoes between the two tracks two tracks in July 2014:

And singer/pianist Sean Magee uploaded a music video mashing the two songs up back in June:

Regardless: Both great songs, and it sounds like everyone's happy. (Plus, any reason to listen back to Full Moon Fever...)