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Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and the Tom Petty connection
If you thought Sam Smith's chart-topping song "Stay With Me" sounded very, extremely, strongly similar to Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down," you weren't alone. And don't think Petty and his writing partner Jeff Lynne didn't notice. Apparently back in October, the Smith people very quietly awarded Lynne and Petty songwriting credit to "Stay With Me," which means they now get to collect royalties... But the settlement only came to light after Grammy voting had ceased on Jan. 16. And the Academy has said -- after this voting period had passed -- that Lynne nor Petty will share credit for any of the three "Stay With Me" nominations or wins. Lynne/Petty have publicly said that their song (which happens to be a well-known single from one of Petty's most critically acclaimed and best-selling albums, 1989's "Full Moon Fever") and its similarities with "Stay With Me" are "accidental," but gosh if they don't mind taking home royalty checks. The whole thing stinks, and it will be shambly if and when "Stay With Me" wins anything. - Katie Hasty