It is the essential hit of the end of the year celebrations. Could the heady “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by American singer Mariah Carey have been plagiarized from another title? So says an artist who is suing the singer for copyright infringement and demanding $20 million from her.
An unexpected complaint. Mariah Carey has been sued by a certain Andy Stone, who accuses her of being inspired by the title of one of her songs for her famous title “All I Want For Christmas Is You”. The plaintiff claims to have co-written and recorded a song of the same name in 1989, without ever having given permission to use it, according to the text of a lawsuit filed Friday in Louisiana. He is claiming 20 million dollars in damages from Mariah Carey, whose title was released in 1994. Andy Stone accuses the singer and Walter Afanasieff, who co-wrote this Christmas hit, of having “consciously committed , voluntarily and intentionally an approach aimed at violating” its copyright.
“All I Want for Christmas Is You” is one of the most streamed titles of all time: it has topped sales in more than 20 countries, and it is widely released each year. The hit has sold 16 million copies and alone is said to have earned Mariah Carey some $60 million over three decades.
The title’s music and lyrics differ
Andy Stone’s song, recorded with his band “Vince Vance and the Valiants”, was a moderate hit with country music fans. If the two songs have the same title, the music and the lyrics differ.
Andy Stone nevertheless criticizes the singer, some thirty years later, for having sought to “exploit the popularity and the unique style” of her title, thereby creating “confusion”. The document filed with the Louisiana court indicates that the plaintiff’s attorneys contacted Mariah Carey and her co-author last year, but were “unable to reach an agreement”.