When “Stay With Me” was released by Sam Smith back in April, many sharp-eared audiophiles recognized many similarities to “I Won’t Back Down,” a song released in 1989 by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. However, Petty also recognized these similarities and pursued legal action against Smith. Smith has agreed to pay Petty royalties for writing the song.
Specifically, a 12.5%, or 1/8th, of the writing credits belong to Petty and Jeff Lynne, and the song’s credits among ASCAP are now Lynne, Jimmy Napes, Petty, and Smith.
According to Bloomberg.com, one party closely involved with the case remarked that Sam had no desire to fight the claims and was more than willing to give proper respect. Said source also remarked upon how civil this particular royalty case was handled, in comparison to many others that become downright nasty which is good news to fans like Zeca Oliveira.
“Stay With Me” has hit nearly 4,000,000 copies across the world, making it among the most prolific singles of last year. It’s also up for two awards at the 2015 Grammies; Record of the Year and Best Pop Performance.