By Suzy Byrne, Yahoo Celebrity
Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ is such a festive, bright and addictive part of the holiday season, you’d have no idea that there’s total drama around it.
Walter Afanasieff — who co-wrote the 1994 song, which keeps growing in popularity, with the diva — details in a 18 December interview with RadioTimes that they haven’t spoken in 20 years, despite having a working history beyond this hit, and accuses the songstress of trying to delete him from the song’s history. “She doesn’t like to acknowledge other people,” he said of Carey, whom he also described as “insecure” and “jealous.”
Afanasieff acknowledged that they “had a falling out.” And while “I would have hoped that in 20 years, she would have knocked on my door,” he said, “she hasn’t, so…”
Afanasieff, an accomplished songwriter whose career has spanned more than 30 years, explained that after Carey split from her first husband, Tommy Mottola, in 1997 and left his Sony Music Entertainment, they couldn’t work together because Afanasieff maintained a contract with Sony Music. “She found that to be a little bit of a slap in the face,” said Afanasieff, who co-wrote several of Carey’s other hits, such as “Hero” and “Forever.” But, separate from that, there were jealousy issues on her part, he claimed.
“Singers like Mariah, Celine [Dion], Whitney [Houston], Barbra [Streisand], they’re all very insecure creatures,” he said, adding, “If you start working on a song with another singer, the jealousy comes out. They’re very, very jealous people. So, I was working to put food on my table. I can’t only work with Mariah, I have to work with other people, and I think that was a bit of a problem ’cause I was working, at that time, with Celine, and there was a girl named Lara Fabian, too. So, I don’t know, we just parted ways.” (Afanasieff did the production on Dion’s 1997 megahit “My Heart Will Go On.”)
Afanasieff didn’t stop there, adding that Carey “doesn’t like to acknowledge other people,” describing it as “a problem with singers.” He explained, “It doesn’t matter how many interviews she’s done or when she’s on stage, she’ll never ever say, ‘Here’s the song that I wrote with Walter.’ She’s made it her modus operandi [to omit him from the narrative]. We wrote the song together, my name is 50 percent, her name is 50 percent, we have equal shares.”
Afanasieff pointed to an interview Carey did with Billboard in 2017 to make his case. “She came up with some crazy, crazy story over the last couple years that she wrote ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ when she was a kid on her Casio [keyboard],” he said. “And I go, that’s crazy, I wasn’t with you when you were a kid writing that song on the Casio, so why am I 50 percent owner of the song? It’s crazy stuff.” (He detailed how they crafted the song together, doing most of it in under an hour, with him doing the music and Carey doing the lyrics.)
Despite all that, Afanasieff went on to say that he looks back fondly at his time working with Carey, with whom he had “chemistry” when it came to making hits. “I love Mariah Carey, she’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me,” he said, and then added, “Unfortunately, it doesn’t go both ways.”
A rep for Carey has not responded to our request for comment about Afanasieff’s interview.