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“Stand by Me” is a song, originally performed by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King, and written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller. According to King, the title is derived from, and was inspired by, a spiritual written by Sam Cooke and J. W. Alexander called “Stand by Me Father,” recorded by the Soul Stirrers with Johnnie Taylor singing lead.
The third line of the second verse of the former work derives from Psalms 46:2c. There have been over 400 recorded versions of the song, performed by many artists. It was featured on the soundtrack of the 1986 film Stand by Me, and a corresponding music video was released to promote the film.
In 2012, it was estimated that the song’s royalties had topped £17 million, making it the sixth highest earning song as of that time. 50% of the royalties were paid to King.