“About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen,” Petty wrote in a statement to Billboard. “Most of the times you catch it before it gets out of the studio door, but in this case it got by.
“Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament, and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it. How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident, no more, no less. In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.”
News broke this week that Petty and his songwriting collaborator Jeff Lynne will start receiving royalties from Smith’s smash “Stay with Me,” which both parties agreed riffs on the rocker’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty and Lynne will also be listed in the Grammy-nominated song‘s credits.
“Not previously familiar with the 1989 Petty/Lynne song, the writers of ‘Stay with Me’ listened to ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and acknowledged the similarity,” Smith’s rep told Billboard.
“Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement.”