Tom Petty has been in the news the last few days after it was reported (conveniently after Grammy voting season had passed) that back in October he had settled a controversy about the similarities between Sam Smith's huge hit "Stay with Me" and Petty's "I Won't Back Down."
"In a surprise backstage maneuver," reported L.A. Times' pop music critic Randall Roberts, "both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne's names have been added to the song's writing credits. Despite never having officially collaborated, Smith, Petty and Lynne now share credit with three others due to the similarities between "Stay with Me" and Petty and Lynne's 1989 hit "I Won't Back Down."
Smith, through a representative, told Rolling Stone magazine that "although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement." The Times contacted Petty's management, and a spokesman replied, "I don't believe he'll be making a statement."
However, in 2005, Petty authorized the publication of a book called "Conversations with Tom Petty" (Omnibus Press), featuring a series of interviews that musician and journalist Paul Zollo conducted with the "Full Moon Fever" singer "over many months in 2004 and 2005 at Tom's two Malibu homes."