Sunday, May 26, 2024

Good News for Tom Petty’s Estate: Sam Smith’s Knock Off of “Won’t Back Down,” “Stay with Me,” Has Sold 10 Million Copies


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.

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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