Mariah Carey sued over copyright on mega-hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You”
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” hits top of Billboard’s Hot 100 list
Mariah Carey is being sued for $20 million over alleged copyright infringement for her mega-hit holiday song “All I Want for Christmas is You.”
Singer-songwriter Andy Stone, known artistically as Vince Vance and the Valiants, filed a civil lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana on Friday against Carey, song co-writer Walter Afanasieff and the Sony music group over alleged “copyright infringement and unjust enrichment” among other reasons, over a song he wrote with the same title five years before Carey’s hit was released.
The court filing describes Stone as a self-employed artist who earns his livelihood in the business of performing, selling and licensing his copyrighted music.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 15: Mariah Carey performs onstage during her “All I Want For Christmas Is You” tour at Madison Square Garden on December 15, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MC)
Stone, who co-wrote and recorded the song in Nashville in 1989, claims his version of the song received “extensive airplay” during the 1993 Christmas season and already began making appearances on the Billboard music charts.
Though musically and lyrically different, the filing claims the defendants, Carey, Afansieff and Sony, “never sought or obtained permission” for the use of the title “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and that Stone never gave permission, consent or a license to use the title.
The court document continues saying Stone’s lawyers first reached out to Carey and the other defendants in April of 2021 in regard to “the unauthorized use of the song,” and after “not being able to come to an agreement” about the usage, Stone personally requested to send a cease and desist and despite that Carey and the other defendants “continue to adventure” his work.
Carey’s song has become a important in the holiday tradition and amassed global infamy since its release in 1994 on Carey’s “Merry Christmas” album. The song has topped the charts every holiday season since its release and as haven earned Carey the nickname of the “Queen of Christmas.”
The song has been streamed at the minimum 1 billion times on Spotify and as of 2017 has earned $60 million in royalties. So far, Carey has not responded to the lawsuit.
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