Mariah Carey sued for $20M: who is the real author of ‘All I Want For Christmas is you’?
Andy Stone, otherwise known as Vince Vance is suing Mariah Carey for copyright infringement on one of her biggest hits.
Singer Mariah Carey has been sued for $20 million by songwriter Andy Stone who claims to have helped co-write the song five years before its release. The song in question? Holiday classic ‘All I Want For Christmas is You.’
Vince Vance, Stone’s stage name performs with the country-pop band Vince Vance & The Valiants.
The suit is being brought against Carey, her co-writer Walter Afansieff, the record company which produced the song, the Sony Corporation of America, and its subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment.
Stone, a New Orleans native, filed the suit in his hometown, citing copyright infringement and misappropriation violations. He claims that Carey adopted his song by the same name’s “style” and claims she exploited the “popularity” of his song which received many radio plays during the holidays in the early 1990s.
Are the two songs similar?
Aside from the title and the use of the title in the chorus, the two songs are fairly different. Take a listen for yourself!
There are a few similarities in the lyrics, but with Christmas music, originality is not alway easy.
For example, in Stone’s version he wrote “Santa can’t bring me what I need, where as in Carey’s version she sings “Santa Claus won’t make me happy with a toy on Christmas Day.” Earlier in the song, Carey’s version reads “I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree,” whereas Stone’s says “All that I want, can’t be found Underneath the Christmas tree.”
It will up for a court to decide whether or not the similarities and evidence presented by Andy Stone are enough to be worthy of a $20 million suit. One aspect of the case cited in the filing papers is that Carey was wrong to have used the same for her song which came out only a few short years later. Stone claims that it caused unnecessary confusion and claims that the pop icon should have asked for permission.
What prompted Stone to file the suit?
The motivation behind the suit may be related to the record breaking success of Carey’s version which has become the unofficial theme song of the Christmas season.
In 2021, Forbes estimated that she had made around $72 million on royalties since the song was released. Their figures come from an article from The Economist which projected that between 1994 and 2016 she made around $60 million from the holiday tune alone.
Carey has not made any public statements about the case.