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Mariah Carey sued for $31 million over All I Want for Christmas Is You: What you need to know

This isn't the first time the Christmas hit has been accused of plagiarism.

Mariah Carey has been sued for $31 million (US$20 million) over her hit Christmas song ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’.

  • Songwriter Andy Stone filed a lawsuit against the US hitmaker on Monday claiming her 1994 holiday single infringed on his copyright.

  • Andy Stone is the frontman of the country-pop group Vince Vance & The Valiants, who released their own Christmas ballad of the same name in 1989.

  • He has argued that Mariah “directly” copied his lyrics and the “compositional structure” of his song, which received extensive radio play and was performed at the White House the same year her version was released.

  • Andy had filed a similar lawsuit for the same amount of money in June 2022 but dropped the claim five months later.

Mariah Carey singing.
Songwriter Andy Stone claims Mariah Carey has plagiarised his Christmas song ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’. Photo: Getty

🗣️ What they said

Andy Stone’s lawsuit says: “The phrase ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ may seem like a common parlance today, in 1988 it was, in context, distinctive. Moreover, the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook was a greater than 50% clone of Stone’s original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions.”

Mariah Carey’s team is yet to respond to the allegations. However, the singer shared a video on November 1 - just two days after the lawsuit was filed - announcing ‘Mariah season’ has officially begun.

Read more: Mariah Carey defrosts for the holidays in new Christmas video: 'It's time'

💬 Conversation starter

Andy Stone is reportedly being represented by Gerard P Fox, the same attorney who represented songwriters Sean Hall and Nate Butler in a similar copyright infringement case against Taylor Swift.

The lawsuit, which claimed Taylor’s song ‘Shake It Off’ had plagiarised their song ‘Playas Gon’ Play’, was launched in 2017 and ended in December 2022 with a confidential settlement.

Read more: Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off copyright lawsuit dismissed by judge after five years

❗ It's hard to believe, but…

Mariah Carey’s Christmas hit has sold more than 10 million copies and topped the Billboard Hot 100 every year since 2019.

It was reported in 2017 that the song had earned at least $90 million (US$60 million) in royalties, with Mariah believed to receive around $4 million (US$2.5 million) each year, according to The Economist.

The song famously featured in the 2001 film Love Actually and has been covered by several musicians, including Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Ariana Grande and Dolly Parton.

Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson brought Vince Vance & The Valiants’ song back into pop culture when she recorded a cover for her 2021 album When Christmas Comes Around.

Read more: Mariah Carey’s holiday takeover continues with new Victoria’s Secret campaign

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