Mariah Carey Faces Another Lawsuit Over Her Holiday Hit Song

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Mariah Carey, the pop diva known for her Christmas anthem “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, is being sued again by a songwriter who claims she copied his song of the same name. Andy Stone, who performs under the stage name Vince Vance, has revived his $20 million copyright infringement lawsuit against Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff.

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A Familiar Rival Wants to Derail the Christmas Spirit

Stone and his co-plaintiff Troy Powers wrote their version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1988 and recorded it in Nashville a year later. They allege that their song received “extensive airplay” in 1993, a year before Carey released her better-known song under the same name. Their song was a “country music hit” that peaked at No. 31 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and later reached No. 23 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.

Stone first sued Carey in June 2022, but dismissed the case without prejudice a few months later, reserving his right to refile. He said that he tried to settle the case with Carey, Afanasieff, and Sony, but failed to reach a resolution. He is now represented by Gerard P. Fox, the same attorney who sued Taylor Swift over “Shake It Off” and reached a confidential settlement after five years of litigation.

The Songs Share the Same Title, Lyrics, and Composition

Stone and Powers claim that Carey’s song is a “derivative” of theirs in terms of lyrics, melody, harmonic language and rhythm. They claim that the songs tell the same story of a female narrator who rejects “unwanted seasonal material goods” in favor of a “beloved” partner.

In Stone’s and Powers’ song, the narrator says, “I don’t need” sleigh rides in the snow, only an unnamed “you” standing “underneath the Christmas tree” in her “dream come true”. In Carey’s song, the narrator says, “I don’t need” and “I don’t want” in relation to seasonal comforts “underneath the Christmas tree”, rather the “one thing” she wants is an unnamed “you” to make her wish “come true”.

They also claim that the phrase “all I want for Christmas is you” was distinctive in 1988 and that the combination of the specific chord progression and melody paired with the verbatim hook was a “greater than 50% clone” of their original work.

Carey’s Origin Story Is Disputed by Her Co-Writer

Stone and Powers accuse Carey of making up the story of how she wrote the song and say that her own co-writer Afanasieff has contradicted her version. They cite an interview where Afanasieff said that he wrote the music first and then sent it to Carey, who wrote the lyrics. They also quote him as saying that he was not aware of Stone’s and Powers’ song until after their lawsuit was filed.

Carey, on the other hand, has claimed that she wrote the song with Afanasieff in 15 minutes and that it was inspired by her childhood memories of Christmas. She has also said that she wanted to write a song that sounded like a classic from the 1940s or 1950s.

Carey’s song has become one of the most popular and successful Christmas songs of all time, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 four times and earning her over $60 million in royalties. It has also been covered by many artists, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Michael Bublé, and Kelly Clarkson.

The Lawsuit Seeks Damages and Injunction

Stone and Powers are seeking $20 million in damages from Carey, Afanasieff, Sony Music Entertainment, Columbia Records, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing America Inc., Warner Chappell Music Inc., and BMG Rights Management (US) LLC. They are also asking for an injunction to stop them from further exploiting their song without permission or compensation.

They claim that they have suffered irreparable harm from the defendants’ actions and that they are entitled to a share of the profits from Carey’s song and its derivatives. They also allege that the defendants have engaged in unfair competition, fraud, and unjust enrichment.

The defendants have not yet responded to the lawsuit or commented on the allegations.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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