Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” hangs atop the Billboard Hot 100’s highest bough for an 11th total week. It leads for a third week this holiday season, as it has topped the chart over the holidays each year since December 2019.
Mariah Carey’s team is setting the record straight regarding the creation and songwriting behind her No. 1 hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” The drama started when the song’s co-writer, Walter Afanasieff, appeared on the Hot Takes & Deep Dives With Jess Rothschild podcast, claiming that she didn’t write it by herself or as a child.
“She doesn’t play anything, she doesn’t play keyboard or piano,” he said. “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.”
Following Afanasieff’s podcast interview, Carey’s rep rebutted his claims to the New York Post.
“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,” the rep shared. “Not sure where that rumor came from, but Mariah is very respectful of writers and the craft, as she is a songwriter herself.”
However, in a 2017 interview with Billboard, Carey actually did do what Afanasieff claimed, telling the publication, “I am proud of this song that I wrote basically as a kid on my little Casio keyboard.”
Carey and Afanasieff have an equal credited part in the song, as she came up with the melody and lyrics, and he contributed the music and chords.