Mariah Carey’s Diamond certified holiday classic “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has her facing a $20 million lawsuit for copyright infringement. In a motion filed on Friday (June 3) in a New Orleans federal court, songwriter Andy Stone claims that Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff created a “derivative” variation of his song without permission. Stone’s song bearing the same name but drastically different lyrics and instrumentation was released by Vince Vance and the Valiants in 1989—five years before Carey’s chart-topping single dominated the Christmas season.
The lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone, bases its claims on the two songs having the same name, as Stone believes that he has the copyright on subsequent works sharing that title. “Defendants knew or should have known of Plaintiff’s copyright,” the lawsuit suggests, adding that Stone’s song received “extensive airplay” throughout the 1993 Christmas season.
Carey’s version—both the song and its music video—has garnered over 1 billion streams and views, respectively, in addition to repeatedly topping the Billboard Hot 100 Recurrents chart. Furthermore, it unofficially marks the beginning of the holiday season and earned its Diamond certification in December 2021.
Stone’s lawyers claim to have first reached out to Carey’s legal team in April 2021 and even issued a cease-and-desist that was subsequently ignored. He is seeking “the profits, gains and advantages derived by the Defendants as a result of willful copyright infringement, in addition to punitive damages and compensation for the damages sustained in an amount not less than $20,000,000.00.”
Watch the visual for Mariah Carey’s hit single below.