Tom Petty Does Not Back Down, Starts Cashing Royalties From Sam Smith

Tom Petty will not back down.

He’s so resilient, in fact, that he’s convinced British pop star Sam Smith to pay him royalties over similarities between the iconic 1989 hit ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and Smith’s three-time Grammy-nominated ‘Stay With Me’. 

Smith says he acknowledges the similarities but insists the rip-off is a complete coincidence, his rep maintaining he was previously unfamiliar with the tune – a claim that can only be considered outright false for anyone alive in the English speaking world over the past two-and-a-half decades. 

That said, we’re not entirely convinced of the apparent theft either; though parts of Smith’s track undoubtedly invoke memories of Petty’s original, is it really possible to write such relatively simple chord progressions and sing melodies without something already recorded being almost the same?

Listen to the two choruses played overtop another below and let us know what you think:


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