Sam Smith’s hit track “Stay With Me” has wowed music lovers, but it has also attracted some unwanted attention from critics who have noted that there is something suspiciously familiar about the track.
Keen listeners found many similarities between the British singer’s hit track and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” In fact, there are so many similarities that Smith will now have to pay Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne royalties.
According to The Sun, Smith, who is up for both Best Pop Solo Performance and Record of the Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards, will pay a 12.5 per cent writing credit to Petty and Lynne.
A source reportedly close to the case revealed to NME, “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.”
And although the likeness to “I Won’t Back Down” was reportedly a complete coincidence, it’s nice to see that this matter was settled so amicably between all those involved.
Listen to the Sam Smith and Tom Petty’s tracks below and see if you can hear any similarities.