Mariah Carey once again faces a copyright lawsuit over her hit 1994 song “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” just in time for the holidays.
Country singer Andy Stone filed a copyright lawsuit in California district court Wednesday alleging Carey ripped off his song of the same name with his band, Vince Vance and the Valiants.
Stone last year withdrew a similar lawsuit over the same songs in federal court in Louisiana, according to court records.
Stone sued alongside Troy Powers, with whom he co-wrote his version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in 1988. It was later recorded and released in 1989.
The suit also names a co-creator of Carey’s song, Walter Afanasieff, as well as Sony Music and Universal Music Group.
The suit alleges that Carey copied the “compositional structure of an extended comparison between a loved one and trappings of seasonal luxury, and further includes several of Plaintiffs’ lyrical phrases.”
Lawyers for Carey did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An attorney for Afanasieff would not comment immediately. Media contacts for Sony and Universal Music Group also did not immediately reply to requests for comment.
The plaintiffs alleged in the suit that their “All I Want for Christmas Is You” had a hand in bringing Vince Vance and the Valiants to national prominence by becoming a major country hit in the 1990s and even earned the band spots performing at the White House in 1994 and 1995.
The suit says Stone and Powers’ song has “a unique linguistic structure where a person, disillusioned with expensive gifts and seasonal comforts, wants to be with their loved one,” which they allege Carey copied.
It’s not just the phrases and lyrics they say Carey ripped off, but also “the combination of the specific chord progression in the melody paired with the verbatim hook,” which they allege “was a greater than 50% clone of Vance’s original work, in both lyric choice and chord expressions.”
Carey’s version of the song has topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart every year since 2019, the suit says.
The plaintiffs are asking for at least $20 million in damages, claiming Carey’s widespread success from “All I Want for Christmas Is You” was due to their original idea.
Rebecca Cohen is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.