Mariah Carey is being sued for $20 million over claims that she ripped the name of her holiday smash hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” from another song written five years prior.
In a complaint filed Friday in New Orleans, Andy Stone, who performs under the name Vince Vance as part of the country-pop group Vince Vance & The Valiants, filed allegations of copyright infringement and misappropriation. He named Carey, her co-writer Walter Afanasieff and Sony Music Entertainment in the suit.
The complaint alleges that the single exploited the “style” and “popularity” of Stone’s song, which he claims received “extensive airplay” during the 1993 holiday season and charted on Billboard.
Stone’s 1989 song (which is also the name of the band’s 1992 album) shares neither lyrics nor melody with Carey’s 1994 anthem. However, the lawsuit claims that the identical titles caused confusion and that Carey did not ask for permission.
The suit also states that Stone first notified the defendants in April 2021, but that the two parties were “unable to come to any agreement.” It did not mention when Stone first became aware of the Carey song.
“All I Want for Christmas,” the first single from Carey’s album “Merry Christmas,” became the first and only holiday single to hit 10 million sales and streaming units in the U.S. last December, 27 years after its initial release. In 2019, it topped the Billboard 100, making Carey the first solo recording artist to claim the No. 1 spot 19 times. The following year, its return to the top of the chart earned Carey the title of first artist to have a hit song in four different decades.
By 2017, the shopping mall mainstay earned Carey more than $60 million in royalties, the BBC reported.
“The continued love for my song never ceases to amaze me and fill my heart with a multitude of emotions,” Carey said upon receiving the RIAA’s Diamond Award in late 2021. “It blows my mind that ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ has endured different eras of the music industry. The RIAA DIAMOND award?! Wowww! I’m so fortunate to have the greatest fans on Earth, my Lambily, who continue to support my legacy. I love you.”