Another Songwriter Is Suing Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ for Copyright Infringement
When Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour single, “Stay With Me,” became an overnight hit last year, many argued it stood on the shoulders of Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever classic, “I Won’t Back Down.” A court agreed, too, and Petty -- along with co-writer Jeff Lynne -- was awarded a 12.5-percent songwriting credit and corresponding royalties. Now, “Stay With Me” is in risk of yet another copyright legal battle.
Songwriter Mark Halper is accusing “Stay With Me” of lifting from his 1986 song, “Don’t Throw Our Love Away.” According to TMZ, Halper believes Smith’s song opens with the same “phraseology" and copies the "significant phrase, ‘stay with me.’” Halper is suing several record labels instead of Smith himself, and he's looking to be recognized with a Grammy Award (“Stay With Me” earned the Grammy for Record of the Year and Song of the Year).
It’s yet to be seen if Halper will also go after Ryan Adams, who released a song of the same name on his self-titled long-player last year … or any of the other countless songs that have employed that “phraseology” for that matter.
In addition to his string of Grammys, Smith was also honored with the award for British Breakthrough Act at the 2015 Brit Awards.
Smith will re-launch his tour this summer at Louisville’s Forecastle Festival on July 17. From there, he has dates scheduled at arenas across the country. Check out his complete itinerary here.