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Stay with Me (Sam Smith song)

"Stay with Me"
File:Sam Smith Stay with Me.png
Single by Sam Smith
from the album In the Lonely Hour
Released April 14, 2014
Format
Recorded 2014
Genre
Length 2:52
Label Capitol
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Sam Smith singles chronology

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  • "Stay with Me"
  • (2014)
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"Stay with Me" is a song by English recording artist Sam Smith from his debut studio album In the Lonely Hour (2014). It was released in the United States on 14 April 2014 and in the United Kingdom on 18 May 2014. "Stay with Me" is a gospel-inspired ballad that details the protagonist pleading with his one-night stand not to leave him.[1] The song was written by Smith, James Napier, and William Phillips, with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne receiving co-writer credits due to the song's similarity to Petty's single "I Won't Back Down".

The song has become Smith's most successful single to date, peaking at number one in the UK Singles Chart (becoming his third chart-topper there, second as a solo artist), topping the charts in Canada and New Zealand, and reached number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It has also reached top 10 status in over twelve countries worldwide. At the 57th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, Darkchild's production of "Stay with Me" won two Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.[2]

Background

In an interview with NME, Sam Smith said that the song was written in a studio in Old Street with James Napier (Jimmy Napes) and William Phillips (also known as "Tourist").[3] Phillips started playing with three chords on the piano, and Napier quickly provided a drum pattern, and according to Sam Smith, "the song just flowed out of us so naturally," and the song was written in 30 to 40 minutes. After finishing the song, he started to layer his vocal about 20 times, singing in different parts of the studio and harmonizing. The result sounded like a gospel choir, but all from his own voice, and this demo was then used in the released song.[3][4]

According to Smith, "the song is about the moment in the morning after a one night stand, where the person you are with leaves your house, and you are left by yourself, and it's just a second, where you are just like: 'I wish, I wish'. You don't even love them, you don't really fancy them that much, it's just nice to have someone in the bed next to you."[3] The song won the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, and in his acceptance speech for winning the Record of the Year, Smith said that "I want to thank the man who this record is about who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys."[5]

On 25 March 2014, the song was played for the first time on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show at 7:30pm.[6][7][8] On 29 March, he performed the song live on Saturday Night Live in the United States. On 16 May, he performed the song on The Graham Norton Show. In June, he returned to the United States as part of his tour where he performed the song on Good Morning America, at the Apollo Theater in New York with Mary J. Blige, and David Letterman.

In January 2015, it was revealed that a settlement had been reached with Tom Petty's publishing company to add Petty and Jeff Lynne as co-writers, and that they would receive a 12.5% songwriting credit. Petty's publisher contacted Smith's team after it noticed a likeness between "Stay with Me" and the melody of Petty's 1989 song "I Won't Back Down". According to Smith, he had never heard "I Won't Back Down" before he wrote "Stay with Me",[9] but he acknowledged the similarity after listening to the song, and said that the likeness was "a complete coincidence".[10][11] Petty and Lynne however were not eligible for a Grammy as the Recording Academy considered "Stay with Me" to have been interpolated from "I Won't Back Down" by Napier, Phillips and Smith; instead Petty and Lynne would be given certificates to honor their participation in the work, as is usual for writers of sampled or interpolated work.[12]

Composition

A 17-second sample of "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith, where the chorus is heard.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

"Stay with Me" was written by Smith, James Napier, William Phillips, with additional credits to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. According to the sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in the key of C major in common time with a tempo of 84 beats per minute. Smith's vocals span two octaves from E3 to E5 while the song follows a chord progression of Am7–F–C.[13] According to Erine Keane of Salon, "Stay with Me" combines a "contemporary drumbeat", blue-eyed soul singing, and a refrain sung in a gospel style.[14] while Stereogum's Tom Breihan called it "a soft-focus piano-soul ballad".[15]

Critical reception

"Stay with Me" received generally positive reviews from music critics. Amy Davidson from Digital Spy called the song an "emotional crescendo" and said the chorus was "slightly over-sentimental" and felt that his "soulful voice" made the singer left in "defeat by fleeting fling". She gave the song four out of five stars.[16] Joe Gross from Rolling Stone gave the song a mixed review, awarding it three of five stars.[17] Isabel Pearson of Nouse gave the song a positive review during her album review, calling the song a "euphoric, slow building love-song that’s raw and undeniably one of the best tracks on this album."[18] Sarah Milton of The Upcoming lauded the song, calling it "electrifying with its blunt honesty and exquisite gospel influence."[19]

In July 2014, Billboard listed "Stay with Me" as one of the "10 Best Songs of 2014 (so far)" saying that the song is "a fragile ballad that finds its backbone when a gospel choir assists the British singer on the harrowing chorus."[20] Variance Magazine named the song its 2014 Song of Summer.[21] The song was placed at number twelve on Rolling Stone‍ '​s 50 Best Songs of 2014 list.[22] In January 2015, "Stay with Me" was ranked at number 15 on The Village Voice‍ '​s annual year-end Pazz & Jop critics' poll.

Commercial performance

In the UK Singles Chart it debuted at number 1, making it Smith's third number one. The song became the eighth best-selling song of 2014 in the UK,[23] and the seventh overall when streaming is included.[24] On the Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number 2, making it Smith's first top ten song in the US as a lead artist and his highest charting single to date. As of the week of May 2, 2015, "Stay with Me" has spent 54 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was the tenth best-selling song of 2014 in the United States with 3.34 million copies sold in that year.[25] As of January 2015, The song has sold 3,485,000 copies in the US.[26] In Canada, "Stay with Me" topped the Canadian Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks. The song also reached top 10 status in over twelve countries worldwide, becoming Smith's most successful single to date.

Music video

A music video to accompany the release of "Stay With Me" was first released onto YouTube on 27 March 2014 at a total length of three minutes and twenty-nine seconds.[27] The video shows Sam coming out of a house and walking down a street in De Beauvoir Town, London, sitting in a room performing the song, and performing the song in a church with a choir. It was directed by Jamie Thraves.[28] "Stay with Me" received nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video and Artist to Watch.[29]

Cover versions

In June 2014, Ed Sheeran covered "Stay with Me" at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. He explained his choice saying "It's my favorite song of the last year. I think it’s an instant classic."[30] Florence and the Machine covered it at the Orange Warsaw Festival.[31] In July, Vin Diesel sang it during an interview with Capital FM.[32] In August, Chris Brown posted a video on Instagram in which he sings the song with lyric changes.[33] Eventual winner Josh Kaufman covered the song for his top 12 performance on the sixth season of The Voice US. Reigan Derry performed the song for "Top 10 Hits" themed week on the sixth series of The X Factor Australia, and her performance debuted at number 20 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[34] In September 2014, FKA twigs also covered it at BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge.[35] Also in September, Charli XCX covered it at Live 95.5's Bing Lounge.[36] Luke James also covered the song, which appeared on his 2014 self-titled album.[37] Kelly Clarkson covered the song at her free concert in honor of the new Microsoft store at the SouthPark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina.[38] Singer Patti LaBelle performed it in November 2014 on her concert tour.[39]

Live performances

Track listings

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification scope="col" data-sort-type="number" #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Australia (ARIA)[104]

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This page is a soft redirect. 4× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 280,000^ #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Austria (IFPI Austria)[105]

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This page is a soft redirect. Gold #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 15,000x #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Belgium (BEA)[106]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. Gold #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 15,000* #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Canada (Music Canada)[107]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 4× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 359,000[108] #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Germany (BVMI)[109]

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This page is a soft redirect. Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 400,000^ #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Italy (FIMI)[110]

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This page is a soft redirect. 2× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 60,000* #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Mexico (AMPROFON)[111]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. Gold #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 30,000^ #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Netherlands (NVPI)[112]

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This page is a soft redirect. 3× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 60,000^ #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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New Zealand (RMNZ)[113]

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This page is a soft redirect. 3× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 45,000* #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Sweden (GLF)[114]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 4× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 160,000x #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[115]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 30,000x #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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United Kingdom (BPI)[116]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 2× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. 1,200,000File:Double-dagger-14-plain.png #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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United States (RIAA)[117]

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This page is a soft redirect. 5× PlatinumFile:Dagger-14-plain.png #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Streaming
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[118]

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This page is a soft redirect. 2× Platinum #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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Spain (PROMUSICAE)[119]

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
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^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone
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File:Dagger-14-plain.png Since May 2013 RIAA certifications for digital singles include on-demand audio and/or video song streams in addition to downloads.[120]

Release history

Region Date Format Label
United States 14 April 2014 Adult album alternative radio[121] Capitol Records
Hot adult contemporary radio[122]
13 May 2014 Contemporary hit radio[123]
United Kingdom 18 May 2014 Digital download[43]
Worldwide 2 June 2014 Digital download (Darkchild remix)[42]

See also

References

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  4. ^ Shawn Christ (September 8, 2014). "Sam Smith Talks About Creating 'Stay With Me'". Music Times. 
  5. ^ Marlow Stern (February 9, 2015). "Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’ Inspiration: ‘A Guy That I Fell In Love With Last Year". The Daily Beast. 
  6. ^ Sam Smith premieres new track 'Stay With Me' - listen now - Music News - Digital Spy
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  8. ^ Listen: Sam Smith’s beautiful new single “Stay With Me” (Consequence of Sound)
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    This page is a [[Wikipedia:Soft redirect|soft redirect]].[[Category:Wikipedia soft redirects|Stay with Me (Sam Smith song)]] Album review"
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      Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
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