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Petty gets songwriting credit on Sam Smith hit

Rocker and co-writer will get royalties for 'Stay With Me'

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(Getty/Jason Merritt)

If you thought English pop star Sam Smith's hit song "Stay With Me" sounded a little bit like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' classic "I Won't Back Down," you are not alone.


Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne contacted Smith's and his collaborators about the closeness of the two melodies and decided to get lawyers involved.


According to British Newspaper The Sun, Smith settled with Petty out of court in October and agreed to pay him and Lynne songwriting royalties.


Smith's representative told Rolling Stone Magazine that the similarities of the two songs "were a complete coincidence."


Petty and Lynne will not be eligible to win Grammy's if the tune wins for best song. Bill Freimuth, senior vice president of the Recording Academy, told CNN the two aren't eligible because they didn't add anything new to Smith's song.


"We are considering their original work to have been interpolated by Napier, Phillips and Smith for 'Stay With Me," Freimuth said. "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."