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Sam Smith Must Pay Tom Petty Songwriting Royalties for ‘Stay With Me’

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By Shannon Carlin

Tom Petty won’t back down from a fight over songwriting credits. Just ask Sam Smith.

Smith was ordered to pay Petty royalties for his hit single “Stay With Me.” Why you ask?

Because Petty’s lawyers felt the song sounded a little too similar to their client’s 1989 track “I Won’t Back Down.” And the UK courts agree.

Related: GRAMMYs Best New Artist: Mary J. Blige on Sam Smith

Smith has reportedly agreed to pay a 12.5% writing credit to Petty and Jeff Lynne of ELO, who helped write “I Won’t Back Down.” An exact amount however has not been revealed.

Smith and Petty settled this dispute out of court in October with “no mud slinging,” but news of the settlement was revealed over this past weekend, according to Consequence of Sound (via The Sun).

“After it was pointed out to Sam’s camp, they didn’t try to fight it and amicably dished out royalties,” a source told The Sung. “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.”

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