Mariah Carey Is Being Sued For $20 Million Over ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’

Mariah Carey is reportedly being sued for $20 million over her hit song 'All I Want for Christmas is You'.
Credit: Alamy & Columbia Records

Mariah Carey is being sued for $20 million over her hit song ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’.

The Grammy Award-winning singer, 54, is known for tracks such as ‘We Belong Together’, ‘Obsessed’ and ‘Fantasy’.

Undoubtedly though, Carey’s biggest song will always be ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ which for years has got people in the festive spirit.

Releasing in 1994, the song has sold over 16 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling holiday song by a female artist, according to Forbes.

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On top of that, The Economist has previously reported that Carey earned over $60 million in royalties between 1994 and 2017.

While there were rumours that the song only took 15 minutes to write, the ‘Emotions’ singer dismissed this in an interview with Parade, stating: “It wasn’t five minutes to get the whole record done. But it was quick considering I’ve taken longer on songs.”

As Halloween is behind us, you can expect to hear the track more and more in the build-up to Christmas.

And while Carey will be raking in the cash from the song, another artist claims that they are owed some of that wealth.

Country musician Andy Stone – who performs under Vince Vance & the Valiants – has filed a civil lawsuit against the singer, co-writer Walter Afanasieff, and Sony Music Entertainment.

Stone submitted court documents on October 31 where he is seeking $20 million (£16 million) – which is how much he sought in his unsuccessful copyright claim from last year.

In documents seen by People, the country singer states that his version of ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ first received radio play in 1993 – a year before Carey’s song – and became a hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart the following year.

He’s also dismissed Carey’s claims about how she came up with the track.

In her interview with Parade, the ‘Hero’ singer recalled: “I started writing that on a little DX7 or Casio keyboard that was in this little room in the house that I lived in at the time in Upstate New York lifetimes ago.

“Just writing down everything that I thought about. All the things that reminded me of Christmas that made me feel festive that I wanted other people to feel.”

Mariah Carey
Andy Stone, who filed a lawsuit against Mariah Carey last year, has once again sued her for her track ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. Credit: Alamy

However, Stone’s new lawyer Gerard P. Fox – who previously represented two songwriters who accused Taylor Swift of stealing lyrics for ‘Shake It Off’ – believes that Carey and co-writer Afanasieff’s stories about the creation of the song don’t add up.

The suit states (as per Billboard): “Carey has without licensing, palmed off these works with her incredulous origin story, as if those works were her own.

“Even her co-credited songwriter doesn’t believe the story she has spun. This is simply a case of actionable infringement.”

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Elsewhere in the new suit, there are allegations about the similarities between the two songs – including the specific musical elements she copied.

The claim says: “The phrase ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ may seem like a common parlance today, [but] in 1988 it was, in context, distinctive.

“Moreover, the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook was a greater than 50% clone of Vance’s original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions.”

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are demanding a jury trial and asking for $20 million in damages.

There is also a mention of the Christmas film Love Actually – in which the song plays a major part in the third act.

At the time of writing, Carey has yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.