Music

Why I Stopped Mariah Carey From Being The ‘Queen Of Christmas’

Mariah Carey may not be getting what she wants for Christmas – but Elizabeth Chan sure is.

Last year Carey, who reportedly earns about $1.55 million annually from her now-legendary 1994 song “All I Want for Christmas”, which applied to trademark the name “Queen of Christmas.” But she didn’t count on singer-songwriter Chan stepping forward and stopping her from claiming the title.

The Manhattan-based married mother of two quit her marketing job at Condé Nast in 2012 to get into the holiday game and has written more than 1,200 carols. Chan, who had been called the “Queen of Christmas” by DJs and even used the title for a 2021 album, felt she had to take legal action to stop Carey from crowning herself.

“When you are the most prolific artist who writes Christmas music, you are called the Queen of Christmas. It is an honorary title,” Chan – if current hit, “Merry Merry”, hit Billboard’s top 5 on the Holiday 100 chart – told The Post.

Mariah Carey performs with Santa Claus
In addition to “Queen of Christmas,” Carey also wanted to trademark the name “Princess of Christmas.”
WireImage

“When somebody wanted to trademark it, take it out of the public domain and make it private property, my feeling was, I can’t let that happen.”

Chan learned of Carey’s intentions last year while recording a spoken-word album called “Queen of Christmas.”

Elizabeth Chan
Chan – note the candy bar-striped fingernails – fought to protect Christmas for himself and future generations.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Chan

To add insult to injury, Carey also wanted to trademark “Princess Christmas.” That cut close to the bone for Chan: Her five-year-old daughter Noelle (she also has a daughter thematically named Eva, 2) is known as the princess of Christmas – complete with a website and book. (Not to be confused with Carey’s book “The Christmas Princess.”)

“I looked at my daughter,” Chan said in a podcast on her lawyers’ website. “I wanted to protect what Christmas looked like [her] in the future.”

After quitting his Condé Nast job and turning Christmas into a full-time gig, Chan has written about 1,200 holiday songs.
After quitting his Condé Nast job and turning Christmas into a full-time gig, Chan has written about 1,200 holiday songs.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Chan

Shorting Carey’s trademark of the title potentially meant derailing a host of products the pop star had voiced intentions to release as the Queen of Christmas: among other things, posters, pyjamas, cocktail shakers and face masks.

Working against the clock — once a trademark application is published in the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Official Gazette, there is little time to oppose it — Chan hired WilmerHale to represent her. Willing to risk what her attorney Louis W. Tompros has characterized as “a tremendous amount of potential backlash from fans of a globally known superstar,” she went after Carey’s attempt to claim the title.

Mariah Carey
Royalties from “All I Want For Christmas Is You” reportedly earn Carey $1.55 million a year.
CBS

But Chan is a benevolent queen: she didn’t want to have the title all to herself, but simply to keep the title in the public domain and allow other people to use it.

One of those people is Darlene Love, famous for singing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Like Love posted on Facebook after Carey tried to control the title, “I’ve been in the business for 52 years, I’ve earned it and I can still hit those notes! If Mariah has a problem, call … my lawyer.”

Darlene Love
Darlene Love – famous for her version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” – was also upset by Carey’s attempt to claim the throne.
Getty Images

“There are many Queens of Christmas,” Chan told The Post. “When I think of the Queen of Christmas, I think of my grandmother.”

When she found out she had blocked Carey’s claim, “I was relieved and felt that justice had been served,” Can said. “I got more support than backlash and was happy to give Christmas back to everyone.”

Still, Chan doesn’t feel so generous that she wants to gift her loved ones with Carey’s new one holiday line of bath and skin care products: “No. I didn’t even know they existed.”

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