"Stand by Me" is a song originally performed by American singer-songwriter Ben E. King, written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. According to King, the song title is derived and was inspired by a spiritual composition by Sam Cooke called "Stand by Me Father" (although Mike Stoller has stated differently). This spiritual was sung by The Soul Stirrers with Johnnie Taylor
singing lead. There have been over 400 recorded versions of "Stand by
Me" performed by many artists. The song has been featured on the soundtrack of the 1986 film Stand by Me.
In 2012 it was estimated that the songs royalties had topped £17
million, making it the sixth highest earning song as of that time. 50%
of the royalties were paid to King.
In 2015, King's original version was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", just under five weeks before King's death. Later in the year the 2015 line up of The Drifters covered the song in tribute to King.