Pop icon Mariah Carey may be facing her second lawsuit over the copyright infringement of the famous Christmas song “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. Country singer Andy Stone, who goes by the stage name of Vince Vance, filed a lawsuit in the California district court last Wednesday alongside Troy Powers, who he co-wrote the song with.
Stone claims that his band, Vince Vance and the Valiants, put out the song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1989, five years before Carey came out with her own version. Although both songs share the same name, they have different lyrics and melodies. According to USA Today, Stone claims his band “performed his hit songs in over 8,000 concerts across more than twenty countries”.
Stone filed his first lawsuit against Carey last year in June seeking at least $20M for misappropriation and copyright infringement. Carey’s version of the hit Christmas song, despite being recorded much earlier, has managed to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart every year since 2019.
The current lawsuit alleges the copying of the “compositional structure of an extended comparison between a loved one and trappings of seasonal luxury, and further includes several of Plaintiffs’ lyrical phrases,” according to NBC. The lawsuit also includes Walter Afanasieff, a co-creator alongside Carey, and Sony Music and Universal Music Group.
Stone argues that Carey did not merely copy the phrases and lyrical style of their song, but replicated the band’s lyric choice and chord expressions. The suit specifies:
“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 Vance’s original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions.” (USA Today)
The lawsuit details the commercial and cultural success of Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, Stone and Power’s attorney Gerard P. Fox had represented clients who sued Taylor Swift for the alleged copyright infringement of the pop hit “Shake It Off”.
Stone claims that both versions of the song aligned just as his version peaked in popularity, it was charted on the Billboard Hot Country Chart in January 1994, about nine months before Carey would release her version. Contacts for Carey, Afanasieff, Sony and Universal have not replied yet to requests to comment on the suit.
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