Christmas is over and we have now officially entered the first week of 2023. Yet, controversies over Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” continue.
Yup, you read that right. The issue surrounding the popular Christmas song seems to be never-ending.
Recently, Carey’s longtime collaborator and Grammy Award-winning producer Walter Afanasieff slammed the Songbird Supreme for her previous claim that she wrote “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on her Casio keyboard as a kid. This, however, was nothing but a “tall tale,” according to the 64-year-old producer.
Speaking to the Hot Takes & Deep Dives podcast, Afanasieff, who’s been Carey’s co-producer and co-writer to some of her hit songs including “Hero”, told host Jess Rothschild that he and Carey were on the same page when it comes to the origin of the Christmas track, but this was not the case because apparently an “alternate story” was being told.
“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,” the producer said.
He then boldly shared that Carey “doesn’t play anything” and is musically challenged.
“She doesn’t play anything, she doesn’t play keyboard or piano,” Afanasieff argued. “She doesn’t understand music, she doesn’t know chord changes and music theory, or anything like that. She doesn’t know a diminished chord from a minor seventh chord to a major seventh chord.”
“So to claim that she wrote a very complicated, chord-structured song with her finger on a Casio keyboard when she was a little girl, it’s kind of a tall tale,” he continued.
Afanasieff went on to describe the song’s origin, where he and Carey came up with it while working on the latter’s 1994 Christmas album, “Merry Christmas.” The producer revealed that the writing process of the song was “like a game of ping pong,” where they hit back at each other with ideas for “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
He also added that the “Emotions” singer takes charge of the song’s lyrics and melodies, while he takes credit for the music and chords.
“At the time, I felt it was very collaborative,” Afanasieff said.
Afanasieff’s comments prompted the songstress to respond and clap back at him, saying that his claims are “ridiculous.”
Speaking to the New York Post, a representative for Carey said: “Mariah has never claimed to write ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ by herself or as a child. She has always credited Walter, as he is cited as a writer on the song, so that would be ridiculous.”
“Not sure where that rumor came from, but Mariah is very respectful of writers and the craft as she is a songwriter herself,” Carey’s rep added.
The singer even shared a clip from her interview with VH1 in 1994, where she shared the behind-the-scenes writing process of “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
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However, her past interview with Billboard says otherwise. In 2017, the singer told the music magazine that she wrote the hit Christmas track when she was a kid.
“I am proud of this song that I wrote basically as a kid on my little Casio keyboard,” she said at the time.
This isn’t the only controversy that the song has faced as of late. In early 2022, Andy Stone from the group Vince Vance and the Valiants filed a $20-million copyright lawsuit against Carey, Afanasieff, and Sony Music for stealing her “All I Want From Christmas Is You” from his earlier song. Stone claimed that Carey “exploited and earned undeserved profits” from his song of the same name. However, in November, Stone dropped the lawsuit against them.
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