Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Grammys: Sam Smith Wins Best Song, Best Record Even Though It Was “Stolen” From Tom Petty Hit


Sam Smith just won Best Song and Best Record for “Stay with Me,” his big summer hit. Only one problem: after Grammy voting closed it was revealed that “Stay with Me” was interpolated from Tom Petty’s classic FM hit “I Won’t Back Down,” written with ELO’s Jeff Lynne. Smith and co. said they never heard of Petty’s song. But how is that possible?

Petty and Lynne are now listed as co-writers, and are receiving royalties. The songs are nearly identical, especially in the chorus. But when Smith took the stage, he and his co-writers didn’t mention this. On an otherwise pretty scandal free Grammy night full of good winners, this is a mistake.

Of course, this has happened before– and recently. Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” turned out to be lifted, instrumentally, from a guitar record of Joe Satriani’s. A settlement occurred, and “Viva La Vida” went on to get lots of awards. Crazy.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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