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Mariah Carey Sued Again Over ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ — By The Same Guy

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A songwriter named Vince Vance is once again suing Mariah Carey over accusations that she stole her perennially-chart-topping “All I Want for Christmas is You” from his earlier song, a year after he dropped a previous lawsuit making the same allegations.

In a complaint filed Wednesday (Nov. 1) in Los Angeles federal court, Vance (real name Andy Stone) made the same basic accusations as he did in his last lawsuit: that Carey’s 1994 holiday blockbuster infringed the copyrights to his 1989 song of the exact same name. That’s no small claim: Carey’s “All I Want” has reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 during each of the past three holiday seasons.

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But the new case includes far more detailed — and far more personal — allegations against Carey, including that she made up the story of how she wrote the song, and that her own co-writer, Walter Afanasieff, has disputed that story.

“Carey has without licensing, palmed off these works with her incredulous origin story, as if those works were her own,” Vance’s new lawyers wrote in the re-filed complaint. “Her hubris knowing no bounds, even her co-credited songwriter doesn’t believe the story she has spun. This is simply a case of actionable infringement.”

Notably, Vance is now represented by Gerard P. Fox, the same attorney who represented two songwriters who accused Taylor Swift of stealing the lyrics to “Shake It Off.” That case went on for more than five years of litigation before it ended in December 2022 with a confidential settlement.

Just like his first lawsuit, Vance’s new complaint claims his own “All I Want for Christmas is You” was recorded by his Vince Vance and the Valiants in 1989 and had received “extensive airplay” during the 1993 holiday season — a year before Carey released her better-known song under the same name.

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But his new lawsuit includes new details about the success of his earlier song, calling it a “a country music hit” that peaked at No. 31 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and later reached No. 23 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart (re-named the Radio Songs chart in 2014.) He’s also now joined as a plaintiff by Troy Powers, who claims to have co-written the earlier song.

The new version of the lawsuit also makes more detailed allegations about the similarities between the two songs, delving into the “unique linguistic structure” and musical elements that Carey allegedly copied in her song.

“The phrase ‘all I want for Christmas is you’ may seem like a common parlance today, in 1988 it was, in context, distinctive,” Vance’s new lawyers write. “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.”

Notably, the new complaint lawsuit also mentions Love Actually, the 2003 Christmas movie that skyrocketed Carey’s song even further into the holiday canon. The lawsuit notes that Carey’s song appears in “a featured performance scene in the penultimate act in the mega hit film.”

A rep for Carey did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday evening.

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