Mariah Carey's attempt to trademark 'Queen of Christmas' ticks off singers Darlene Love and Elizabeth Chan
Mariah Carey has been a staple of the holiday season since "All I Want for Christmas" hit the airwaves in 1994. The track has become iconic, selling 10 million copies — the first holiday track to do so — and raking in more than $60 million in royalties.
The singer's next yuletide coup? Setting out to trademark the title of "Queen of Christmas," registering the term legally so that only she can use it. But first she'll have to contend with a couple of shattered ornaments: namely, singers Darlene Love and Elizabeth Chan.
The pair aren't going to just roll over and let Carey be the ruler of holiday cheer. Both have become famous for their own seasonal tunes, and now they're taking the superstar to task.
Chan has earned notoriety for cranking out Christmas tracks each year, and, most significantly, she released an album titled Queen of Christmas in 2013. In the wake of Carey's trademark filing Friday, Chan's attorney has filed a formal declaration of opposition.
"Christmas has come way before any of us on Earth, and hopefully will be around way after any of us on Earth," Chan said in an interview with Variety. "And I feel very strongly that no one person should hold onto anything around Christmas or monopolize it in the way that Mariah seeks to in perpetuity. That's just not the right thing to do. Christmas is for everyone. It's meant to be shared; it's not meant to be owned."
The singer also takes issue with Carey's attempt to commodify her Christmas reign. "And it's not just about the music business," added Chan, who is represented by Louis W. Tompros of Boston-based firm WilmerHale. "She's trying to trademark this in every imaginable way — clothing, liquor products, masks, dog collars. It's all over the map. If you knit a 'Queen of Christmas' sweater, you should be able to sell it on Etsy to somebody else so they can buy it for their grandma. It's crazy — it would have that breadth of registration."
Love, meanwhile, is known for her work on what many consider one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time, A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector — particularly for her classic "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." After she performed the hit on The Late Show With David Letterman each holiday season for almost three decades beginning in 1986, the host declared her the "Queen of Christmas."
Naturally, Carey's attempt to adopt the exact same title doesn't sit well with Love, who has expressed her opposition on Facebook and also threatened legal action.
"Is it true that Mariah Carey trademarked 'Queen of Christmas'?" Love asked in a post on Monday. "What does that mean, that I can't use that title? David Letterman officially declared me the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago, a year before she released 'All I Want for Christmas Is You,' and at 81 years of age I'm NOT changing anything. I've been in the business for 52 years, have earned it, and can still hit those notes! If Mariah has a problem call David or my lawyer!!"
For the song's 25th anniversary celebration in 2019, Carey spoke to EW about how the song has grown in popularity over the years. "When it first came out, it was more of a gradual thing," she said. "It was popular, but it didn't have what it has now. I feel like people have grown up with the song and it's become a part of people's lives in terms of the way they celebrate the holidays. That makes me feel really proud as someone that loves Christmas so much."
Seeing as it's still August, we say there's plenty of time for these carolers to make nice and come together for one big epic collaboration just as the holiday season kicks off. "We Three Queens," anyone?
Representatives for Carey, Love, and Chan did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
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