Sam Smith to Pay Tom Petty Royalties for "Stay With Me" - NBC New York

Sam Smith to Pay Tom Petty Royalties for "Stay With Me"

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    Tom Petty is going to have one more song staying with him for quite some time, as he will now officially be receiving royalties from Sam Smith's megahit, "Stay With Me."

    A rep for Smith confirms to E! News that Petty's "I Won't Back Down" and the British singer's "Stay With Me" have similar sounds, so similar in fact that Petty and Jeff Lynne will be listed as co-writers of the hit; however, the rep insists that the similarities are completely coincidental and unintentional.

    "Recently the publishers for the song 'I Won't Back Down,' written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, contacted the publishers for 'Stay With Me,' written by Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips, about similarities heard in the melodies of the choruses of the two compositions," a rep said in a statement.

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    "Not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of 'Stay With Me' listened to 'I Won't Back Down' and acknowledged the similarity. Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement in which Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne are now credited as co-writers of 'Stay With Me' along with Sam Smith, James Napier and William Phillips."

    It's always a good thing when parties come together and settle things amicably because no one wants to see a brutal legal battle. According to The Sun, Petty and Lynne will split a 25 percent share of songwriting royalties for the tune, which is nominated for Song of the Year at the upcoming Grammys.

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    Petty previously opened up to Rolling Stone about a similar incident involving Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Dani California" and his song "Mary Jane's Last Dance," and said that he didn't believe there was any "negative intent" behind the band's song. He wasn't interested in suing the band back then, either.

    "If someone took my song note for note and stole it maliciously, then maybe [I'd sue]," he said. "But I don't believe in lawsuits much. I think there are enough frivolous lawsuits in this country without people fighting over pop songs.

    Listen to both songs below, and let us know in the comments if you hear the similarities!

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