A former songwriter for Mariah Carey alleged her story behind the creation of smash hit All I Want For Christmas is nothing but a lie.
In a recent episode of the podcast Hot Takes & Deep Dives with host Jess Rothschild, Grammy award winning songwriter Walter Afanasieff discussed his career and the long collaborative relationship he had with Carey.
Both Carey and Afanasieff are credited for the song. Yet in the past Carey claimed that she wrote the song by herself as a young girl.
“I am proud of this song that I wrote basically as a kid on my little Casio keyboard,” Carey told Billboard in 2017.
On the podcast released Thursday, Rothschild asked Afanasieff for his side of how the song came to be.
“At that time, we were both on the same exact page of how we wrote All I Want for Christmas is You,” Afanasieff said. “There was never any ulterior or alternate story, alternate universe, alternate reality, until probably 10 years ago.”
“When she started to sort of like hint at the fact that, ‘Oh yeah, I wrote that song when I was a little girl.’ Like, but why weren’t you saying that for 12 or 13 or 15 years prior to that? So it just kind of, sort of developed in her mind,” he said.
Afanasieff went on to argue Carey doesn’t have the musical chops to have been able to write such a complex song.
“But she doesn’t play anything. She doesn’t play keyboard or piano or she doesn’t understand music,” he said.
“She doesn’t know chord changes in music theory or anything like that. She doesn’t know a diminished chord from a minor seven chord to a major seven chord. I mean, all of the things that you need to know even if you don’t know, at least need to know how to play that,” he added.
“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. I mean, it’s like, yeah — it’s a difficult song,” Afanasieff said.
Afanasieff went on to explain that the song was written 50/50 between him and Carey while the pair were developing an entire Christmas album and decided to write three originals for the record.
According to Forbes, the song All I Want For Christmas is You has generated $2.5 million dollars in annual royalties since its initial release in 1994.