True Mariah Carey fans are no strangers to the name Walter Afanasieff.
The celebrated songwriter, famous for his work with the likes of Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, and more, is probably most known for helping pen some of Carey’s biggest hits including ‘Hero,’ ‘Anytime You Need a Friend,’ and one of the most well-known holiday songs of all time, ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You.’
The latter, which reached its Hot 100 peak this week (24 years after its release), has become a staple during the yuletide season – a bittersweet fact for Afanasieff as he and the diva have not spoken for over 20 years and she (according to him) continues to take sole credit for its creation.
Recently taking to press to not only outline the status of his relationship with the pop icon but also dish on what led to their fall out and how he believes she is trying to erase him from the historic holiday hit. Look inside for some jaw-dropping quotes:
On the demise of their friendship:
“The reason we stopped working together was primarily because she and her husband, who was the chairman of Sony Music, got a divorce. 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.”
“We had a falling out. I would have hoped that in 20 years, she would have knocked on my door – but she hasn’t, so…”
On her alleged insecurities and jealousy:
“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]…”
On refusing to acknowledge his contributions to her catalog:
“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’. We wrote the song together, my name is 50%, her name is 50%, we have equal shares.
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?” [source]