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Mariah Carey is in hot water after being hit with a $20 million lawsuit for her ultra-ubiquitous holiday song, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
On November 1, country singer Andy Stone filed a copyright lawsuit against Carey, stating that she stole the song with his band, Vince Vane and the Valiants, with the same name. The case was documented in the Central District of California.
Stone sued Troy Powers, in which he co-wrote his part of the song, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” was recorded and then released in 1989. The suit mentions Walter Afanasieff, the co-creator of Carey’s song, in addition to Sony Music and Universal Music Group.
“All I Want For Christmas” has over 1 billion YouTube streams
Stone and Power’s hit song displays “a unique linguistic structure where a person, disillusioned with expensive gifts and seasonal comforts, wants to be with their loved one.”
They believe that Carey copied the structure—not only the lyrics and phrases, but “the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook.”
Lawsuit says 50% “of words are the same”
As stated in the lawsuit, Carey used their “composition structure of an extended comparison between a loved one and trappings of seasonal luxury, and further includes several of Plantiffs’ lyrical phrases.” The resemblance between two songs was very similar, alleging that “50 percent of the words are the same, in almost same order.”
In both songs, the singers say they “don’t want” usual Christmas decorations, such as gifts or stockings. After “all I want for Christmas is you”, Stone says, “dream come true”, while Carey states, “make my wish come true.”
In this case, the plaintiff claims that “All I Want for Christmas Is You” helped bring the band into the national spotlight. It also earned them a major hit in the 1990s and back-to-back years performing at the White House in 1994 and 1995.
This is not the first time Carey has faced controversy with “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. Stone filed a previous lawsuit over the song in 2022, which was withdrawn. However, this time it is more detailed with more evidence to support his previous claims.
Jay Ceravolo, Stone’s manager, told Rolling Stone, that they attempted to resolve the case with Carey and her team, but they failed, resulting in Stone seeking $20 million in damages.