In a new legal development just in time for the holiday season, Mariah Carey, the iconic pop singer, is facing a copyright lawsuit over her 1994 holiday hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Country singer Andy Stone, known for his work with the band Vince Vance and the Valiants, has lodged a copyright complaint in the California district court. The lawsuit asserts that Mariah Carey unlawfully borrowed elements from Stone’s song of the same title, which he co-wrote with Troy Powers back in 1988. Stone’s version of the song was recorded and released in 1989.
This is not the first time Stone has pursued legal action regarding this matter. He had previously withdrawn a similar lawsuit over the same songs in a federal court in Louisiana, as per court records.
The lawsuit targets not only Mariah Carey but also Walter Afanasieff, a co-creator of Carey’s iconic song, and major music industry players Sony Music and Universal Music Group.
According to Stone’s complaint, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” infringes upon their work by copying the “compositional structure of an extended comparison between a loved one and trappings of seasonal luxury, and further includes several of Plaintiffs’ lyrical phrases.”
The lawsuit alleges that Stone and Powers’ version of the song brought significant recognition to Vince Vance and the Valiants, becoming a major country hit in the 1990s. Their song even earned the band opportunities to perform at the White House in 1994 and 1995.
The crux of Stone and Powers’ argument lies in the unique linguistic structure of their song, where the lyrics convey a person’s disillusionment with extravagant gifts and seasonal comforts, expressing a desire to be with their loved one. The plaintiffs contend that Carey’s rendition not only mimics these phrases and lyrics but also emulates “the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook,” which they claim is a “greater than 50% clone” of Vance’s original work, encompassing both lyrics and chord expressions.
It’s worth noting that Mariah Carey’s version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has consistently topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 2019, demonstrating its enduring popularity and commercial success.
In response to these allegations, lawyers representing Mariah Carey, as well as Walter Afanasieff, have not immediately commented on the matter. Similarly, representatives from Sony Music and Universal Music Group have yet to respond to requests for comment.
In light of the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are seeking at least $20 million in damages, contending that Carey’s widespread success with “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is derived from their original concept. The legal proceedings will undoubtedly garner significant attention as they unfold.
Mariah Carey facing $20M lawsuit over ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’ https://t.co/gAJlRv43Lv
— Fox News (@FoxNews) November 3, 2023