Tom Petty has addressed the recent news that he and ex-ELO/Traveling Wilburys and good friend Jeff Lynne have received songwriting credit on Sam Smith’s hit “Stay With Me.” In a statement to Billboard, the rock legend praises Smith for quickly addressing what he calls a “musical accident” — i.e., the similarities between “Stay” and his hit “I Wont’ Back Down.”
Though Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne will begin receiving royalties for “Stay With Me” – and are now listed as co-writers on the track – they will not be considered nominees in the eyes of the Recording Academy.
“Since Lynne and Petty didn’t do any new writing for this work, we are considering their original work to have been interpolated by Napier, Phillips and Smith for ‘Stay With Me,’ ” Bill Freimuth, the Recording Academy’s senior vice president, awards, explained to Billboard.
“Lynne and Petty will not be considered nominees nor will they be considered Grammy recipients, should the song win. Rather, they would be given certificates to honor their participation in the work, just as any other writers of sampled or interpolated work.”
Petty’s full statement is below:
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. Most times you catch it before it gets out 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.