A songwriter is suing Mariah Carey over her holiday earworm, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” claiming it infringes on his copyright, which was published five years before her 1994 blockbuster hit.
Vince Vance and the Valiants’ lead singer, Vince Stone, known as Vince Vance, has filed a lawsuit against Carey in a New Orleans federal court. He is demanding at least $20 million in compensation and claims copyright infringement, unjust enrichment, assault by false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The complaint claims that Carey and her co-writer Walter Afanasieff, as well as Sony Music Entertainment, are responsible for the song.
The court documents describe Vance as a self-employed artist who in 1989 co-wrote a song titled “All I Want for Christmas is You” and recorded it in a studio in Nashville. It was subsequently published, and during the 1993 Christmas season, it began to receive significant airplay on radio stations.
Carey released a song with the same name as Vance’s song in 1994. However, Carey’s song had different lyrics and music. Vance sued Carey and the other defendants for using, reproducing, or distributing his song without permission.
Carey has not yet spoken publicly about the lawsuit. Sony Music did not respond to a request for comment early on Saturday.
Carey’s song has been a Christmas classic and staple of the holiday charts each year. It is unclear why the lawsuit was only filed recently.
As of Saturday, there were dozens of registered entries for “All I Want for Christmas is You” at the U.S. Copyright Office. This means that copyright does not generally extend to song titles alone.
According to the court documents, Vance’s lawyers first contacted Carey and others in April 2021. They followed up with a letter in December. But even after communication about their concerns, they were not able to reach an agreement about the use of “All I Want for Christmas is You.”
Carey, a singer who is known for her popular songs such as “Fantasy” and “Hero,” was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year. The Songwriters Hall of Fame website calls her an elite songwriter and says that she has written or co-written 18 of her 19 number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100.
Mariah Carey is a famous singer who had her first hit song in the United States in 1990. She has won 5 Grammy Awards, 3 Guinness World Record titles, and an Ivor Novello Award. Her unique singing style with 5 octaves has made her very successful all over the world.
Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is still popular. A lot of people listen to it on Spotify. Some people say it’s overplayed, but others don’t mind. There was a bar in Texas that said people could only listen to the song once a night.
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