Judge for yourself.
Did Sam Smith rip off Tom Petty's 1989 hit “I Won't Back Down”? Released last April, Smith's track “Stay With Me” immediately caught the ear of those in the music industry who believed that he certainly did. And the British singer seems to agree, as it was just reported that he's agreed to not only pay royalties to Tom Petty and co-writer Jeff Lynne, but give them co-writing credits as well. Check out the songs below to judge for yourself, as well as several other famous songs that have also been accused of plagiarism.
Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” vs. Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s “I Won’t Back Down”
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” vs. Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”
Gaye’s estate sued Thicke for plagiarism, claiming the song lifted substantial elements from the 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” The case has not yet been settled.
Huey Lewis And The News’ “I Want A New Drug” vs. The Ghostbusters theme song
Ray Parker, Jr. earned an Oscar nomination for his theme song, which happened to sound almost exactly like Huey Lewis's “I Want a New Drug.” While the parties settled out-of-court, we imagine Lewis got a hefty settlement, considering that it was later revealed that he was originally asked by the film's producers to write the theme.
George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” vs. The Chiffons’ “He's So Fine”
In what must have been the most embarrassing event in his career, former Beatle George Harrison was found to have “unconsciously plagiarized” the 1963 song “He's So Fine” by the Chiffons. “My Sweet Lord,” off Harrison's 1970 album “All Things Must Pass,” ended up costing George and his publishing over $1.5 million in proceeds.