Mariah Carey sued again over ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
Mariah Carey is facing another copyright lawsuit over her track ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’.
Country singer Andy Stone – who performs under the stage name Vince Vance – filed a complaint yesterday (November 1) in Los Angeles federal court, alleging that Carey’s Christmas hit infringed the copyright of his 1989 song under the same name. He made the same claims in a lawsuit that was dropped this time last year.
“If you look at both songs, you can see that about 50 per cent of the words are the same, in almost the same order. I think it’s a pretty strong claim,” the plaintiff’s lawyer, Douglas M. Schmidt, told Rolling Stone.
He added that attempts to settle the case with Carey, her co-songwriter Walter Afanasieff and Sony ended without a resolution.
“Now we are moving forward to a financial conclusion either through settlement or a trial,” Stone’s manager, Jay Ceravolo, said in a statement. “It is simply a case of copyright infringement.”
Stone, whose legal name is Andrew Franichevich, originally sued the singer in June 2022 but dropped the complaint a few months later.
Stone and his songwriter Troy Powers, the co-plaintiff on the new lawsuit, claim their own song ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ was recorded by Vince Vance and the Valiants in 1989 and received “extensive airplay” on US radio during the 1993 festive season, one year before the release of Carey’s own song.
They allege that the song is a “derivative” of theirs, claiming that it tells the same story of a woman who rejects “unwanted seasonal material goods” for a “beloved” partner instead.
The new case also includes allegations that Carey made up the story of how she wrote the hit track, according to Billboard, including that her own co-writer, Walter Afanasieff, disputed that story.
“Carey has without licensing, palmed off these works with her incredulous origin story, as if those works were her own,” Vance’s new lawyers wrote in the re-filed complaint. “Her hubris knowing no bounds, even her co-credited songwriter doesn’t believe the story she has spun. This is simply a case of actionable infringement.”
Vance is now represented by Gerard P. Fox, the same attorney who represented two songwriters who accused Taylor Swift of stealing the lyrics to 2014’s ‘Shake It Off’. The lawsuit was dismissed before trial in December 2022.
“The phrase ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ may seem like a common parlance today, in 1988 it was, in context, distinctive,” Vance’s new lawyers write. “Moreover, the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook was a greater than 50 per cent clone of Vance’s original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions.”
Back in 2020, Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ became a UK Number One for the first time ever, 26 years after it was first released.
Two years later, in November 2022, Carey was denied the “Queen of Christmas” trademark after facing pushback from two singers known for recording holiday music.