As Mariah Carey reminded us with her pitch-perfect, “It’s time!” announcement on a recent TikTok post, Christmas is around the corner.
The celebrated American singer enjoys the success of her popular holiday song All I want For Christmas is You, which has been described as a “million-dollar song.”
Now, the legendary singer is being sued over the song- for a second time.
Vince Vance, a songwriter, is accusing the singer of stealing the chart-topping track, seeking 20 million dollars (over Sh 3 billion) in damages. This comes barely a year after he dropped a previous lawsuit making the same allegations.
Billboard Magazine reports: “In a complaint filed Wednesday (November 1) in Los Angeles federal court, Vance (real name Andy Stone) made the same basic accusations as he did in his last lawsuit: that Carey’s 1994 holiday blockbuster infringed the copyrights to his 1989 song of the exact same name.”
The report notes the huge success of Carey’s song, which has reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 during each of the past four holiday seasons.
But the new case includes far more detailed-and far more personal- allegations against Carey, including that she made up the story of how she wrote the song, and that her own co-writer, Walter Afanasieff, has disputed that story.
Stone and Troy Powers, a song writer, allege in the suit that their version received extensive airplay and appeared on the Billboard chart during the 1993 holiday season, according to Complex Magazine.
“Mariah's version was released in 1994. A 2016 study in The Economist reported Carey earns about $2.5 million (over Sh 377 million) annually from the song. The singer made $60 million (Sh 9 billion) at the time and more than $72 million (Sh10.8 billion) by 2021,” Complex notes.
Last year, the lawsuit, which was nearly identical, claimed that Andy Stone co-wrote and recorded a song called "All I Want For Christmas Is You" a few years before Mariah Carey dropped her famous track with the same title.
TMZ reported on the first lawsuit: “Andy claims Mariah and her camp never sought or obtained permission to use that title. Now, while everyone knows Mariah's song, the fact is it sounds completely different from Andy's tune- different lyrics, different melody, outside of the title, they're inarguably not the same song.”
Stone and Powers dropped the first suit within five months of filing it, as reported by People Magazine.
Mariah has experienced phenomenal success with the track, and as Forbes reported in 2021, climbing to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Chart for the third year in a row was “wildly impressive” and “a historic achievement”, unmatched by any song in chart history.
"The Recording Industry Association of America also said that All I Want for Christmas has become a rare Diamond-certified song, which means it has sold more than 10 million units. As of 2019, there were only 30 songs in history to reach that level.