Christmas is around the corner, and as usual Mariah Carey can once again, as every year, be heard on the radio, in shops and advertisements. This time however, the yearly return of Mariah Carey comes with a lawsuit! Indeed, she is facing a new copyright dispute over her 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas is You” filed on 1 November by country singer Andy Stone in a California Federal Court, claiming that Carey copied the song, which he performs with his band Vince Vance & the Valiants. This is the second time that Stone takes legal action for the same reason and the same song, after his first suit was dismissed by a Louisiana Court last year.
Stone’s original song was to his group’s fame, allowing them to perform at the White House, but it did not reach the heights which Mariah Carey’s hit did. Carey’s song has topped the Billboard Hot 100 every year since 2019, bringing in significant revenue, on top of around €50 million in royalties that the singer had received when the song was released nearly three decades ago.
Stone has decided to try again, suing Mariah Carey, co-writer Walter Afanasieff, and record labels Sony Music and Universal Music Group for “copyright infringement and unfair enrichment”, claiming that Carey’s song copied a piece he composed in 1989, five years before Carey’s release. Stone argues that although the songs are musically different, the titles are identical and Carey never sought permission to use it. Furthermore, he points to similarities in “compositional structure” and certain “unique linguistic structures”.
The plaintiffs are seeking at €16.4 million in damages, claiming that Carey’s success is based on their original idea. It remains to be seen if this lawsuit brought nearly 3 decades after Carey’s song was first hear will encounter any success, or whether it will be dismissed as the previous attempt.