Mariah Carey has been accused of copyright infringement over her 1994 holiday staple "All I Want For Christmas Is You." The lawsuit was brought by Andy Stone a.k.a Vince Vance, a songwriter who claims Carey's song lifts significant elements from a song of the same name released in 1989 by his group Vince Vance & the Valiants.
Stone first filed the lawsuit in 2022 before withdrawing it, as Billboard reports. The new claim, filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court, argues that Carey's song closely mirrors Stone's.
“The phrase ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ may seem like a common parlance today," the claims reads, "in 1988 it was, in context, distinctive. Moreover, the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook was a greater than 50% clone of Vance’s original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions.”
Carey and "All I Want" co-writer Walter Afanasieff have offered competing versions of how the song was created. Carey said in 2021 she began writing the song "on a little DX7 or Casio keyboard that was in this little room in the house," something Afanasieff pushed back on in 2022. "To claim that she wrote a very complicated chord-structured song with her finger on a Casio keyboard when she was a little girl, it’s kind of a tall tale."
This discrepancy is mentioned in Stone's filing. “Carey has without licensing, palmed off these works with her incredulous origin story, as if those works were her own. Her hubris knowing no bounds, even her co-credited songwriter doesn’t believe the story she has spun."
Stone is represented by Gerald Fox. Last year, Fox negotiated a settlement for two songwriters who accused Taylor Swift of lifting their lyrics for her song "Shake It Off." The FADER has reached out to Fox and representatives for Mariah Carey for more information.