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Mariah Carey facing $20M lawsuit over ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’

NEW ORLEANS — Singer Mariah Carey is facing a hefty lawsuit brought by an artist claiming copyright infringement over her mega-hit “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

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Andy Stone, whose stage name is Vince Vance, filed the suit seeking at least $20 million in damages in a New Orleans federal court on Friday, The Washington Post reported.

Stone claims in the suit that a song he co-wrote in 1989 with an identical name but differing lyrics and melodies was later released and received “extensive airplay during the 1993 Christmas season” before “making appearances on the Billboard Music charts,” the newspaper reported.

Stone argued in his suit that Carey, who released her “All I Want for Christmas” on 1994′s “Merry Christmas” album, was unjustly enriched by the song’s success.

The suit also names Sony Music Entertainment and Walter Afanasieff, co-writer of the yuletide hit, for copyright infringement, USA Today reported.

Song titles alone are not protected by copyright law “because they contain an insufficient amount of authorship,” the newspaper reported, citing the U.S. Copyright Office.

Specifically, the suit contends that Carey and the other defendants “never sought or obtained permission” from Stone to use, reproduce or distribute the song and accuses them of infringing his copyright. Stone has held his copyright on the work since 1988, USA Today reported.

“Defendants, have knowingly, willfully, and intentionally engaged in a campaign to infringe Plaintiff’s copyright in the work,” the complaint, obtained by the newspaper, stated.

According to court documents, Stone’s attorneys made initial contact with Carey and the other defendants in April 2021, followed by a letter sent in December, the Post reported.

“Even after communicating the concerns with Defendants, Plaintiff was unable to come to any agreement over usage of the ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’,” the suit stated.

Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” broke Billboard chart history in December when it hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for the third consecutive year, breaking a tie with Chubby Checker’s 1960 dance hit “The Twist,” which topped the chart the year it was released and again in 1962, USA Today reported.

Carey has not yet responded publicly to the lawsuit.

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