Mark Halper emerged with hefty claims that the soulful star's use of the phrase "stay with me" was ripped off from his own 1986 tune "Don't Throw Our Love Away." Sam Smith sings the phrase eight times in his hit, and Halper believes he deserves the credit.
Halper will not be going after Sam Smith directly, but the record labels who allowed the alleged imitation. Among recognition for having written the triple-worded lyric, Halper is asking the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for a Grammy highlighting his "contribution" to the ballad.
This isn't the first time Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" has been given questionable attention. Rolling Stone reported in January that Smith and singer Tom Petty quietly agreed to sign as co-writers of the song. Following the announcement, Petty released a statement clarifying any misconceptions about how the two settled the copyright dispute.
"About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam," Petty wrote, "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," he said.
Halper's lawsuit may never see the light of court, but if it does, he has a skeleton in the closet: he ripped off The Supremes. Apparently, his song "Don't Throw Our Love Away" uses lyrical phrasing similar to the 1964 hit "Baby Love." Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard's chart-topper repeats "don't throw our love away," quite a few times.