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Sam Smith “Stay with Me”
Writer(s): Sam Smith/ James Napier/ William Phillips/ Tom Petty/ Jeff Lynne (see lyrics here)
Released: 4/14/2014, First charted: 4/19/2014
Peak: 2 US, 15 AC, 12 AA, #10 RB (airplay) 11 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 0.6 UK, 5.73 world (includes US and UK)
Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): 231.05
Review: Sam Smith poured his heart and soul into this gospel-inspired, blue-eyed-soul ballad begging a one-night stand not to leave. He told 4Music that he wanted to write “an anthem for the lonely.” SF He told Tanya Rad on On Air with Ryan Seacrest that he is “willing to show that emotional side…I don’t have…bravado to put in front…I’m just showing my raw self.” SF Nouse’s Isabell Pearson called it a “euphoric, slow building love-song” WK while Digital Spy’s Amy Davidson called the song an “emotional crescendo.” WK
Smith told NME the song only took 30 to 40 minutes to write. SF James Napier and William Phillips were co-writers on the song, but after it became a hit, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne were given royalty credit as well because the song’s similarity to the melody of Tom Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down.” An amicable agreement was reached with no threat of a lawsuit. Petty said, “All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen.” SF
The song topped the charts in the UK, Canada, and New Zealand and went top ten in more than a dozen countries, including a #2 peak in the U.S. WK It was also listed in the top ten of year-end charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. WK USA Today named it the song of the year SF and it took home Grammys for Record and Song of the Year.
The buzz around Sam Smith had become so big on the heels of “Stay with Me” that he landed a gig performing on Saturday Night Live right before the song was officially released. SF He had, however, already been featured on Disclosure’s #11 UK hit “Latch” in 2012 and Naughty Boy’s #1 UK hit “La La La” in 2013. Two singles from his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, had already charted in the UK as well – “Lay Me Down” at #46 and “Money on My Mind” at #1.
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