Oops! Sam Smith admits he accidentally ripped off Tom Petty

Sam Smith didn’t mean to steal, but he admits that the chorus of his 4 million-selling song “Stay With Me” does sound like Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” Sam and his co-writers said they weren’t familiar with the Petty song, but when they gave it a listen, they realized there was a startling similarity. Nobody wanted things to get ugly, though, so they worked out an amicable agreement that adds the names of Tom Petty and his co-writer, Jeff Lynne, to the songwriting credits on “Stay With Me.” Now everybody’s happy and every once in awhile Tom probably gets a sweet little songwriting royalty check that he wasn’t getting before.

Compare the songs below and spot the similarities:

Isn’t it nice when people can work things out without getting nasty?

AboutJohn Fisher

John is a Midwest native who started his Northwest radio career in 1992 after moving to Seattle from Chicago. He’s an avid cyclist, painter, traveler, foodie, and dog lover (Hazel and Gizmo, both shelter dogs.) He’s worked with various animal organizations including PAWS, Seattle Humane Society and Seattle Animal Shelter. John got a late start on fatherhood – he and his wife have a 5-year-old son named Dawson who already has a crush on Katy Perry.