Mariah Carey Facing Lawsuit Over Most Iconic Song

Mariah Carey is being sued by a country music songwriter who claims she infringed on one of the most popular holiday songs of all time. Songwriter Andy Stone filed a lawsuit against Carey and co-writer Walter Afansieff, claiming they ripped off his 1989 single "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Vince Vance & the Valiants. 

Stone filed his papers in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, Deadline reported. According to the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Stone claims he recorded his song in Nashville in 1989. He claims that it received extensive airplay and made it into the Billboard charts during the 1993 holiday season, including a music video.

Stone has requested $20 million in damages. He alleges Carey and Afansieff "intentionally engaged in a campaign to infringe" on his copyright. Mariah and her camp are also accused of never asking permission to use the title. There are 177 works, including many musical compositions, with "All I Want For Christmas Is You" as the title, according to Pamela Koslyn, a Los Angeles attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights.

Koslyn told Deadline that her answer would be different if all of the lyrics were "substantially similar" to Carey's original."Song titles aren't entitled to copyright protection," Koslyn said. "That's why there are 177 works using the same title. An even more popular title is "My Baby," which has 4860 works registered with the Copyright Office. And that doesn't even count "common law" (unregistered) works using the same title."

Streams of Carey's version have topped 1 billion on Spotify alone. The song became the first No. 1 hit to debut three separate times on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart last year.

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Carey still earns a lot of money on licensing and commercial deals for the classic, according to music industry sources cited by TMZ in 2021. According to the outlet, she earns a fraction of a cent for each stream of "All I Want For Christmas Is You," but considering Spotify streams, the fractions add up to seven figures and counting.

A source who manages artists told TMZ that singers typically earn between .003 and .004 of a dollar for each stream, which for Mariah is between $3,249,600 and $4,332,800 just on Spotify alone. Another source allegedly remarked that "Mariah can sit on her a– for the rest of her life and only promote 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' and still be a millionaire."