All songwriter Walter Afanasieff wants for Christmas is respect.
The frequent Mariah Carey collaborator, 61, opened up to Variety about how it feels to see “All I Want for Christmas Is You” on the top of the charts 25 years after penning the holiday hit alongside the Queen of Christmas.
“Mariah has been very wonderful, positive and a force of nature. She’s the one that made the song a hit and she’s awesome,” Afanasieff told the publication in an interview on Wednesday, December 18. “But she definitely does not share credit where credit is due.”
Afanasieff and Carey, 49, cowrote and coproduced “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” but the Brazil native claimed that Carey has often declared herself the sole brain behind the song. This week, the Christmas classic broke a number of records and Carey earned her 19th No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart — her first since 2008.
“It has really hurt my reputation, and as a result, has left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth,” the record producer added. “So on this wonderful first day that the song is No. 1 on the Hot 100, I’m still being attacked left and right and ridiculed and pummeled by the internet and social media.”
The songwriter, formerly known as Baby Love, revealed that fans of the “Always Be My Baby” singer have accused him of trying to steal credit for the song. Afanasieff and Carey worked side-by-side on nearly all of the 1994 album, Merry Christmas, but have hardly spoken to each other since.
In November, Carey told Cosmopolitan about the origin of the holiday smash without acknowledging the 50/50 partnership she had with Afanasieff.
“I just sat down, decorated a little tree and put on ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and tried to get into that mood,” the Mariah’s World star said at the time. “Then I sat in this small room with a keyboard and started doing little melodies and stuff.”
Despite their supposed falling out, the composer just has one wish this Christmas: to be acknowledged as part of the singer’s record-breaking legacy.
“We’re equal cowriters. We’re so joyous and, I mean, we’re so blessed,” Afanasieff told Variety. “It’s just not fair to me and my family anymore.”