A songwriter has filed a $20 million (£16 million) lawsuit against Mariah Carey for her 1994 hit All I Want For Christmas Is You.
Singer and songwriter Andy Stone claims he co-wrote a song with the same name five years before Carey released her festive hit and has filed a lawsuit against her in New Orleans.
Stone is suing Carey, her co-writer Walter Afansieff and Sony Music Entertainment for several claims, including copyright infringement and misappropriation.
Stone has accused the defendants of exploiting his ‘popularity and unique style’ and causing confusion to fans after releasing the 1994 chart-topper.
Despite sharing a name, the two songs are completely different and do not share the same melodies or lyrics aside from ‘all I want for Christmas is you’.
According to court documents, Stone accuses Carey and Afansieff of 'knowingly, wilfully, and intentionally engaging in a campaign' to infringe his copyright of the song.
The court documents continue by stating the pair carried out 'acts of unjust enrichment by the unauthorised appropriation of plaintiff's work and goodwill associated therewith'.
Stone argues that he did not give permission for his song to be used for any purpose including the ‘creation of derivative work’.
It’s unclear why Stone has filed the suit now, given the fact Carey released her song 28 years ago.
According to court papers, Stone’s lawyers contacted Carey and the other co-defendants last year but were ‘unable to come to any agreement’.
Stone, who performs as Vince Vance in a country-pop band called Vince Vance & the Valiants, says his identically-named track had ‘extensive airplay’ during the festive season in 1993 and even appeared on the Billboard charts.
Meanwhile, Carey’s song debuted at number five and peaked at number two in the year of its release, but has spent a lot of time in the charts ever since.
Its popularity shows no signs of dying off, as it’s flown into the Billboard Hot 100 in December of every year since 2019, and boasted its first-ever number one in the UK in 2020.
The song is estimated as having made $60 million (£44.5m) in royalties since its release, and making Carey more than $2 million (£1,601,474) every single year.
Stone’s case comes just weeks after Ed Sheeran won his High Court battle over claims he had ripped off another song for his 2017 hit Shape Of You.
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