Tom Petty has released a statement through his website regarding the recent Sam Smith controversy. Many claim Sam Smith’s hit “Stay With Me” sounds too much like Petty’s hit “Won’t Back Down” from the album Full Moon Fever released in 1988. Petty’s camp shared the sentiment, and have worked out a royalty agreement with Sam Smith’s people. However, a lot of media outlets have tried to staple this as a feud between Petty, and Smith.
Petty’s statement appears to contradict that idea, and even seems to offer some compassion towards Smith. Here’s that statement in full:
“About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident no more no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.“-Tom Petty
There is no public statement from Smith at this time.
“Stay With Me” has been nominated for 3 Grammy awards this year. Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne will not be eligible for the awards as “they did not do any new writing for this work, we are considering their original work to have been interpolated,” Senior Vice President of Awards Bill Freimuth said.
Here is a video of just how alike the two songs are: