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Mariah Carey Responds After Her 'Christmas' Cowriter Calls Out Her 'Tall Tale' About Writing The Hit Song

The singer's team released a statement after 'All I Want for Christmas is You' cowriter Walter Afanasieff criticized her for previously claiming she wrote the song as a child.

Mariah Carey; Walter Afanasieff
Robert Kamau/GC Images/GettyImages, Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Legendary pop diva Mariah Carey spoke out against the co-writer of the 1994 holiday hit "All I Want For Christmas Is You" claiming the singer didn't write the song by herself nor as a child.

Walter Afanasieff, who is credited along with Carey as the number 1 hit song's songwriters, appeared on the Hot Takes & Deep Dives With Jess Rothschild podcast where the drama unfolded.

Afanasieff is a songwriter and producer who collaborated with Carey on six of her earlier studio albums.

One of his biggest achievements was winning a Grammy for producing Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" from the Titanic movie.

When he heard Carey once suggested that she wrote "All I Want For Christmas Is You" when she was a "little girl," he dismissed her claim as "a tall tale."

"But, why weren't you saying that 12, 13, or 15 years prior to that?" he commented on the "alternate" recollection of the song's creation.

"So, it just kind of sort of developed in her mind."

He continued:

"She doesn’t play anything, she doesn’t play keyboard or piano. 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.”

You can listen to the podcast interview, here.

Mariah Carey LIES About "All I Want For Christmas Is You" !?

Carey's team gave a rebuttal to Afanasieff's claim with a statement to the New York Post.

The rep for the singer said:

“Mariah has never claimed to write ‘All I Want for Christmas’ 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 shared a vintage clip from a VH-1 interview in which she discussed the origins of the Christmas tune that went on to become a bonafide hit for all time.

Said Carey in the 1994 interview:

"I was up at the farm, upstate where we did the video, and it was nighttime, and I was just walking around, and I got the idea for the song."
“I don’t know where it came from, sometimes things just come to me like that."
“That melody just came into my head, the verse melody."
"And then, I was walking around, and I just went in and I had a little keyboard set up there and I just kind of finished the lyrics and the melody just came pretty quickly.”

Afanasieff said he and Carey collaborated on three songs for her holiday album, Merry Christmas.

He offered his recollection of crafting the major single, "All I Want For Christmas Is You."

“We were holed up in this beautiful home that [Mariah was] renting, and it was the summertime and there was a piano."
"So the writing of ‘All I Want for Christmas’ is, I started playing a boogie-woogie, kind of a rock."

He went on to say Carey came up with the melody and lyrics while he provided the music and chord progressions.

The song became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

It also topped the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 1 during each of the past three seasons and in each of the past four separate years (2019 to 2022).