Mariah Carey ‘Queen of Christmas’ trademark sparks legal battle

Mariah Carey has filed a trademark for the term "Queen of Christmas," sparking outrage and legal action from other holiday performers. Getty Images

Two holiday singers have taken issue with Mariah Carey‘s attempt to be crowned the “Queen of Christmas.”

Last year, Carey, 53, and her legal team applied to register the term “Queen of Christmas” as a trademark for her sole usage, complete with exclusive merchandising rights for a wide variety of products including music, fragrances and alcohol.

On Friday, singer Elizabeth Chan (who only performs Christmas music year-round) filed a legal opposition asking the federal trademark office to block Carey’s application.

Carey has not responded publicly to Chan’s legal filing.

Chan claimed that throughout her career, she has also been dubbed the “Queen of Christmas,” including by the New Yorker, who published a 2018 profile of Chan under the same title. In 2021, Chan even released a 12-track album entitled The Queen of Christmas.

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For these reasons Chan and her lawyer, Louis Tompros, claim it would be unfair for the popular All I Want For Christmas Is You singer to monopolize the “Queen” title.

“Christmas is big enough for more than one ‘Queen,’” Tompros wrote in the legal filing. He added that the opposition to Carey’s trademark is “sadly necessary” because the singer and her company, Lotion LLC, are “nevertheless trying to claim sole ownership of the title and designation ‘Queen of Christmas.’”

After Chan’s filing, another popular Christmas singer, Darlene Love, spoke out against Carey’s claim of “Queen” status. On Facebook, Love — who has been performing Christmas music for many decades — questioned whether Carey really applied for the trademark.

“Is it true that Mariah Carey trade marked [sic] ‘Queen of Christmas’?” Love wrote. “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.'”

Love was featured on The David Letterman Show every year from 1986 to 2014 to perform the song Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

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“At 81 years of age I’m NOT changing anything,” Love continued. “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!!”

In the legal filing from Chan and her lawyer, they also note an interview in which Carey claims she “does not even consider herself the Queen of Christmas.”

When speaking to the BBC on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show last year, Carey said the “Queen of Christmas” title was created by “other people, and I just want to humbly say that I don’t consider myself that.”

“I’m someone that loves Christmas, that happened to be blessed to write All I Want For Christmas Is You,” Carey said in the interview. She said Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, is the real “Queen of Christmas.”

In an interview with Variety, Chan said she feels “very strongly” that no one person should own anything to do with the Christmas season.

“That’s just not the right thing to do,” Chan said. “Christmas is for everyone. It’s meant to be shared; it’s not meant to be owned.”

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