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THEY WEREN'T PETTY ABOUT IT

After noticing a striking similarity between Tom Petty's 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down" and Sam Smith's smash Song of the Year Grammy nominee, "Stay With Me," Petty and collaborator Jeff Lynne have earned 12.5% songwriting credits on the tune. Talk about some royalties.



Smith's reps released a statement calling the incident a "complete coincidence," but after listening to both tracks, agreed that there was in fact a "likeness" and came to "an immediate and amicable agreement."



The timing is interesting, considering the approaching arrival of Music's Biggest Night. "Stay With Me" is of course nominated for Song of the Year, so does that make Petty and Lynne nominees in the category?

NARAS
' SVP Awards Bill Freimuth cleared up the confusion, stating, "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.' 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."

Grammy whisperer Paul Grein further clarifies such matters by noting that two of this year's Best Rap Song nominees interpolate material from existing works, but the songwriters of the original songs aren't nominated. The songs in question are Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" (which is built on Sir Mix-a-Lot's 1992 smash "Baby Got Back") and Kendrick Lamar's "i" (which cribs from the Isley Brothers' 1973 hit "That Lady"). 

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