Six Musicians Who Got Busted for Plagiarizing

January 27, 2015 6:14 PM

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British singer Sam Smith agreed in October to pay royalties to Tom Petty for the song Stay With Me, a soulful single that topped Billboard charts and that is essentially a remix of Petty's 1989 classic Won't Back Down. U.K. Newspaper The Sun broke the news this week. Stay With Me has sold over 3 million copies, and Smith's album had the third-highest U.S. sales overall last year, behind the soundtrack for Frozen and Taylor Swift's 1989, according to Nielsen (PDF).

“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,” said a Smith representative in a statement to reporters. “Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and a...

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