Sam Smith Forced to Pay Out Royalties to Tom Petty for ‘Stay With Me’

The similarities between 'Stay With Me' and Petty's 'I Won't Back Down' have led to a court ruling.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Sam Smith has been forced to pay out royalties to Tom Petty for his hit single ‘Stay With Me’, after it was ruled that the song shared too many similarities with Petty and the Heartbreakers’ ‘I Won’t Back Down’.

While the ruling was made back in October details have only just emerged regarding the settlement, which will see Smith pay out 12.5% of the song’s profits to both Petty and singer-composer Jeff Lynne. To make it even more embarassing for Smith, the track’s songwriters are listed as Smith, Petty, Lynne, and Jimmy Napes.

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This will prove to be a hugely lucrative ruling for Petty & co. as the single has sold four million copies worldwide, and is on heavy rotation on TV shows and the like, too.

Compare the two tracks and their similarities below:

It could well be an honest mistake, though let’s face it – those two songs are practically the same, except with Petty’s nasally tones replaced by Smith’s warbling.

It’s uncertain just how much Petty and Lynne stand to gain from this ruling, but it’s likely that Smith will have money on his mind quite a bit from now.

(We’re so sorry).