Billboard - 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 four holiday seasons.
So this fucking guy is back again.
Vince Vance, lead singer of the (real and actual) 80s band "Vince Vance and The Valiants". You might remember them from their cult favorite "Bomb Iran"
Which, since we're talking about ripping other people's songs off, is a blatant jack of The Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann".
Or even, yes, their song from 1993 "All I Want For Christmas Is You"
Yes, they released this song just one year prior to Mariah's, and yes, it has the same title, but buck up and subject yourself to listening to it for 3 minutes and 44 seconds and you'll see for yourself that Vince has no leg to stand on in this one.
Except for this fact-
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, 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.”
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.”
Pretty convincing argument, which they made sure to get out to every media outlet they could, and talk about perfect timing…
Carey just unleashed this annual hell on us at the stroke of midnight the other night as seen in her tweet at the top of this blog
And she fucking BANKS off this each and every year -
Billboard reported last year Carey grossed $1.55 million in annual recording royalties from each time the song’s master recording is played or sold, plus as much as $830,000 in publishing royalties before fees for the use of the music.
As of 2017, the song had generated over $60 million through royalties since its release, according to an estimate by The Economist.
I was all ready to slam the book on Vince Vance and chalk this up as just another desperate money grab but then this phrase jumped back in my mind, from his attorney, "even her co-credited songwriter doesn’t believe the story she has spun."
What's that about? I thought to myself before digging into google.
Turns out the song's credits list a Walter Afanasieff as the lone co-writer with Carey. It also turns out that last year he went on a podcast called “Hot Takes & Deep Dives with Jess Rothschild” where he straight up called Mariah Carey out for bullshit.
For over 20 years the two of them shared the same story that they came up with the song together while writing Carey's album Music Box. And they knew they had a smash on their hands.
But Carey changed her tune (pun intended) about ten years ago Afanasieff claims, having told Billboard in an interview that "she wrote the song while playing "her casio keyboard" when she was a little kid."
Give me a fucking break Mariah.
“When she started to hint at the fact that, ‘Oh, I wrote that song when I was a little girl!’ But why weren’t you saying that for 12 or 13 or 15 years prior to that? So it just sort of developed in her mind,” he said on the podcast.
Smells like horseshit to me.
Maybe Vince Vance does have a case after all?
p.s. - Does there need to be a Halloween costume roundup part 6?!