Tom Petty didn’t get whipped into a “Full Moon Fever” over Sam Smith filching one of his tunes.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Smith quietly gave Petty songwriting credit on his hit “Stay With Me” due to its similarity to Petty’s 1989 smash, “I Won’t Back Down.”
In a new statement Thursday, Petty offered an olive branch to the 22-year-old British crooner, calling the scenario a “musical accident no more no less.”
“Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by,” Petty said.
“Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention. And no more was to be said about it,” Petty said.
“How it got out to the press is beyond Sam or myself. Sam did the right thing and I have thought no more about this. A musical accident no more no less,” he continued.
“In these times we live in this is hardly news. I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career. Peace and love to all.”
Petty’s comments come days after Britain’s The Sun reported he and Smith had settled the matter out of court in October.
Smith gave Petty and “Back Down” co-writer Jeff Lynne credit as writers on his soulful tune, meaning they will retroactively split royalties.
Petty and Lynne could also snag a Grammy out of the agreement. “Stay With Me” is up for Song of the Year at next month’s awards show.
Through it all, Smith insisted the similarity between the two was “a complete coincidence” and that neither he nor his song-writing partners were familiar with Petty’s hit.
Petty, meanwhile, once admitted that he’s frequently caught himself “channeling” other artists’ work.
“You look up, and you think you’ve come up with something, and you realize somebody else has done it first,” Petty said in a 2005 book of interviews surfaced by The Los Angeles Times.
“You try not to let it bug you. What bugs you the most is when you write something and then realize it’s somebody else’s song. That’ll happen to me two times a month,” he added.
“I’ll be working with something and then realize I’m channeling this melody from somewhere else, and then I have to abandon the idea,” he said.