Petty: No hard feelings for Sam Smith

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2014, file photo, Sam Smith performs on stage at the 42nd annual American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Tom Petty has earned a writing credit on Sam Smith’s megahit “Stay With Me” for its similarities to his song, “I Won’t Back Down.” Smith’s representative said Monday the publishers of Petty’s 1989 hit contacted the publishers of Smith’s song, which was one of last year’s biggest hits. Smith and “Stay With Me” writers James Napier and William Phillips say they agree their song is similar to Petty’s song, written with Jeff Lynne. Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” peaked at No. 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. A representative for Petty declined to comment. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Petty says he has no hard feelings toward singer Sam Smith and called the similarities between Smith’s Grammy-nominated hit “Stay With Me” and Petty’s 1989 song “I Won’t Back Down” a musical accident.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said in a statement posted to his website Tuesday that “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.”

He said he never intended to sue Smith and didn’t know how their settlement agreement became public.

After Petty’s song publishers pointed out the similarities, Smith quickly agreed to give Petty and his co-writer, Jeff Lynne, songwriting credits on “Stay With Me.” The British artist’s breakthrough hit sold more than 3.5 million tracks and is up for song of the year at next month’s Grammy Awards.

Petty called the development “hardly news.”

“I wish Sam all the best for his ongoing career,” Petty said. “Peace and love to all.”