Songwriter drops £17.8m copyright lawsuit against Mariah Carey for Christmas hit

A lawsuit filed against Mariah Carey in June, alleging that her juggernaut 1994 Christmas single All I Want for Christmas Is You infringed on the copyright of Mississippi songwriter Andy Stone, has been dropped, Rolling Stone reports.

In his initial filing, Stone alleged that Carey and Walter Afanasieff, her co-writer on the track, had “knowingly, wilfully, and intentionally” infringed upon the copyright of his 1989 song All I Want for Christmas Is You, which he had recorded under the name Vince Vance and the Valiants.

He also said that Carey’s track was “designed to exploit the popularity and unique style” of his song, despite the songs having different melodies and lyrics, and that Carey would have been aware of the track because it had received “extensive airplay” in 1993, the year before Carey’s song was released. Stone was seeking $20m (£17.8m) in damages. But on Tuesday Stone filed to dismiss his case.

Carey’s version of All I Want for Christmas Is You has been a festive staple since its release and is one of the most commercially successful modern Christmas songs. A single from 1994’s Merry Christmas – the first of two Carey Christmas records – the song peaked at No 2 on the UK charts upon its first release and has since sold over 3m copies in the UK.

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The advent of streaming has given All I Want for Christmas Is You uncommon chart longevity; for the past five years, the track has returned to the UK Top 5 around Christmas time, finally reaching No 1 for the first time in December 2020. A similar phenomenon has occurred in the US, where the song has returned to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 every year since 2017, reaching No 1 for the first time in 2019 and again in 2020 and 2021.

The Guardian has contacted representatives for Mariah Carey for comment.