Sam Smith — who Howard Stern recently praised as a “fat, ugly effeminate one-hit wonder” — will have to pay royalties to Tom Petty for that one hit. It turns out that “Stay With Me,” bears a remarkable resemblance to the Tom Petty song, “Won’t Back Down,” and instead of disavowing the resemblance (as Vanilla Ice did between “Ice Ice Baby” and Queen’s “Under Pressure”), Smith owned up to it.
In fact, he settled with Tom Petty’s camp a few months ago, and agreed to pay Petty and his co-writer, Jeff Lynne, 12.5 percent of the songwriting royalties for “Stay with Me.” The settlement was disclosed over the weekend.
I didn’t even realize the resemblance, but once you listen to both songs, it’s fairly obvious:
Source: Consequences of Sound