Mariah Carey doesn’t know “All I Want For Christmas Is You” songwriter, Walter Afanasieff.
24 years later… Mariah’s Christmas classic reaches a new peak on the Hot 100. It’s an incredible feat, but the man partly responsible for its creation claims Mariah would prefer for you not to know about his involvement.
“We had a falling out,” the Grammy-winning producer says. “I would have hoped that in 20 years, she would have knocked on my door – but she hasn’t, so…”
Afanasieff co-created some other iconic Mariah songs, including “Hero,” “Forever” and “Anytime You Need a Friend.” He also co-wrote Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” and has worked with Beyoncé and Barbra Streisand. But no matter what stars he shares a studio with, the producer is scathed from his time with Mariah.
“The reason we stopped working together was primarily because she and her husband, who was the chairman of Sony Music, got a divorce,” he continued. “And I was under an exclusive contract with him. So, she left the building, she wasn’t even on the label anymore, but I couldn’t go and work with her because he wouldn’t let me. So she found that to be a little bit of a slap in the face.”
“Singers like Mariah, Celine, Whitney [Houston], Barbra [Streisand],” he says, “they’re all very insecure creatures.”
“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 [Dion], and there was a girl named Lara Fabian, too. So, I don’t know, we just parted ways.”
Afanasieff also says Mariah pretends like he doesn’t exist. “She doesn’t like to acknowledge other people. It seems to be a problem with singers. If you see a singer talking about something that they wrote, they will probably say I wrote the song when I was 12 years old, or, here’s another song I wrote.
“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 neglect to mention his name when discussing the song]. We wrote the song together, my name is 50%, her name is 50%, we have equal shares.”
Afanasieff also takes an issue with Mariah’s timeline of the song.
In a 2017 interview with Billboard, she suggested she dreamed up “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as a child.
“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 says. “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% owner of the song? It’s crazy stuff.”
Afanasieff goes into more detail about his time with Carey, and also dissed Ariana Grande in the process. He says the pint sized pop star’s Christmas classic, “Santa Tell Me,” will never be as iconic as his and Mariah’s tune.
“No. Never ever,” he says. “It’s never going to happen. In 24 years, we can have a phone call, and I’ll say ‘hey, how did that Ariana Grande Christmas song do after 24 years?’ I’m telling you right now it’s never going to be number 1, 24 years in a row.”
“And I wish her the best. I wish somebody would come out with the next biggest thing of all-time, I’d love that.”
No lies detected, but RUDE. You can read the entire interview here.
Does he want Mariah to share a press release every time the song is performed or talked about? Enjoy those royalty checks and keep Mimi’s name out ya mouth.