Sam Smith Settles Copyright With Tom Petty

Sam Smith vs. Tom Petty

Wow. This actually happened! Tom Petty and ELO’s Jeff Lynne have been added to Sam Smith’s hit “Stay With Me”. Coincidence or not, the internet has been talking about this one for a while. Here’s a snippet from

Over the weekend, The Sun reported that Sam Smith had quietly and amicably settled a copyright dispute with Tom Petty over the likeness between Smith’s three-time Grammy-nominated “Stay With Me” and Petty’s Full Moon Fever hit “I Won’t Back Down,” co-written with ELO’s Jeff Lynne. In a statement to Rolling Stone, Smith’s reps have confirmed that “Stay With Me” is now co-credited to Petty and Lynne, adding that while there are undeniable “similarities” between the two singles, it was a “complete coincidence.” –

And here is the music:

Sam Smith - "Stay With Me" (2014)

Tom Petty - "I Won't Back Down" (1989)

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Original post: Sam Smith vs. Tom Petty

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12 Replies to “Sam Smith Settles Copyright With Tom Petty”

  1. Travis

    hmm…. friend told me this one was settled lol.. but they also swear this matches up..

    whether it does or not.. idk lol

    1. Keith Post author

      Well, I did just read somewhere else that it quietly happened back in October (2014) but nobody really knew until The Sun reported on it.

      Oddly, a few days ago while posting this I was reading the wikipedia entry for “Stay With Me” which casually mentioned Tom Petty as a songwriter. Today it has been edited to add more information about the settlement/royalties.

  2. Travis

    these 2 have been going through my mind for some time now..

    might not be quite a dead ringer.. but even got some of the same lyrics on top of it

    some might know the 2nd one better by celine dion or meatloaf

    1. Mark Adams

      It mightn’t be a dead ringer, but the second is a real dead ringer for a love song. I just couldn’t resist.

  3. Mark Adams

    This doesn’t make sense. You don’t credit someone for your own independent creation anymore than you’d call a stranger your namesake. I’m assuming this was out of court and either Sam Smith’s reps reckoned it wouldn’t stand up in court or it’s just a way of saving face.

  4. Travis

    try these out

    does it hit the soundalike nerve?

    how gc wasnt sued for plagarism on this one ill never know

    check these out to..

    same two bands

    sound familar? well it should

    1. Travis

      heres a interesting one..

      doesnt look like the 2nd was released as a single by this band

      however.. flordia georgia line did release it a few years later as a single..

      check these out for sound alike

      flordia georgia line version

      maybe its just me.

      when i heard “Stay”

      all i could think of was here without you

    2. Mark Adams

      Absolute nadir or low point of their career; an album of trend-chasing and selling out and if becoming the people they made fun of isn’t selling out, I don’t know what is. Then they made it all the worse by ripping off a crappy Russian band.

      I don’t exactly know what you’re expecting Keith to say though, he already said twice that he was impressed by these, but it would be good if these were posted. If it doesn’t get posted here, I’ll post about Victims of Love and Not Gonna Get Us on, if it hasn’t been posted already. As far as I know, No Communication was an outtake and wasn’t officially released, so personally, I’d cut them a bit of slack there.

    1. Mark Adams

      Not really, I think the similarity is that they are all four-chord songs, some with similar voicings and maybe even inversions, plus non-chord tones. Similar riffs can be heard in songs like All of Me by John Legend and is similar to the guitar parts of choruses of ’80s power ballads, plus it brings us back to Bruce Springsteen vs. Tommy Tutone.

      1. Travis


        i been a bit off lately..

        pretty sure i landed a good one though on the usher vs hilary duff post..


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