Tom Petty must be smiling in heaven.
Sam Smith’s 2014 knock off of Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down,” called “Stay with Me,” has crossed the 10 million mark in sales.
This was Smith’s first hit. It was being played everywhere until someone realized it sounded exactly like “Won’t Back Down.” Petty and his co-writer Jeff Lynne were added immediately to the credits. Petty and Lynne split 25% of the song’s royalties in a case reportedly settled out of court.
Smith is not a very original songwriter. He has hits called “I’m Not the Only One” (hello Melissa Etheridge), “Too Good at Goodbyes” (which connotes Julian Lennon’s “Too Late for Goodbyes”), plus “How Do You Sleep?” (John Lennon), and so on.