30 Years Later, A Christmas Music Smackdown We Totally Saw Coming
I know, I know. It's only June. But breaking news, even when it's related to Christmas, doesn't sleep. However, one of the parties in this crazy lawsuit apparently has been for about 28 years. I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.
Mariah Carey is being sued for her popular Christmas song "All I Want For Christmas Is You".
By the writer of another song called "All I Want for Christmas is You":
Two different songs, with the same title, both in heavy rotation on thousands of radio stations at the end of the year. The writer of the Vince Vance & The Valiants version is suing Carey for a whopping $20 million. According to CBS News:
Singer-songwriter Andy Stone, known artistically as Vince Vance and the Valiants, filed a civil lawsuit in the Eastern District of Louisiana on Friday against Carey, song co-writer Walter Afanasieff, and the Sony music group over alleged "copyright infringement and unjust enrichment" among other reasons, over a song he wrote with the same title five years before Carey's hit, was released.
Stone wrote his version in 1989, four years before Mariah wrote her, again, totally different version. So, why did it take nearly 30 years for Andy Stone, aka Vince Vance, to conclude this was a necessary lawsuit? We don't know. Maybe because Mariah's song has been streamed over 1 billion times, has earned over $100 million, and because it tops the pop charts anew every year around Christmastime. Andy Stone/Vince Vance clearly just wants a piece of that pie. While his version is popular in its own right, you can bet the stats are marginally lower than Carey's mega-hit.
Stone claims Carey, Afansieff, and Sony, "never sought or obtained permission" for the use of the title "All I Want for Christmas Is You," and that Stone never gave permission, consent, or a license to use the title". He also states, according to CNN Entertainment that his version was getting "extensive airplay" right up until Carey's version came out, and as mentioned, hers has outperformed his heavily since then. It's not the first or last time that different-sounding songs have shared the same title. Hard to say if this lawsuit will hold up.
Carey has not responded to the lawsuit.