Ep. 156 - WALTER AFANASIEFF ("All I Want for Christmas is You")


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By Paul Duncan and Scott B. Bomar and American Songwriter. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Scott and Paul chat about the holidays and Paul's latest Christmas cut by Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr.
The guys catch up with Eagles songwriter and past Songcraft guest Jack Tempchin ("Already Gone," "Peaceful Easy Feeling") about his brand new holiday song and children's book.
Our in-depth conversation with thirteen-time Grammy nominee and two-time winner Walter Afanasieff who co-wrote and co-produced Mariah Carey hits such as the number one singles “Can’t Let Go,” “My All,” “Hero,” “One Sweet Day,” and the perennial holiday classic "All I Want for Christmas is You." Additionally, he produced some of the biggest movie soundtrack songs of all time, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” and “My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic.
Thirteen-time Grammy nominee and two-time winner Walter Afanasieff is best known for his collaborative songwriting and production partnership with Mariah Carey that yielded hit singles such as “Can’t Let Go,” “Dreamlover,” “Hero,” “Without You,” “Anytime You Need a Friend,” “Butterfly,” “My All,” and “One Sweet Day,” a duet with Boyz II Men that was named ASCAP Song of the Year. It hit #1 in December of 1995 and stayed there for sixteen weeks—a record that remained unbroken for more than two decades. Their “All I Want for Christmas is You” was released in 1994 and has since become a holiday standard. It hit #1 on Billboard’s pop chart for the first time in 2019, giving Walter and Mariah the world record for the longest period of time between a song’s original release and its arrival at the top of the chart.
In addition to his success with Carey, Afanasieff carved out a formidable reputation as a go-to producer of hit movie songs. After co-writing and co-producing the Gladys Knight single “Licence to Kill” from the James Bond film of the same name, he went on to produce “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, “Even If My Heart Would Break” from The Bodyguard, and “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic, which became the best-selling single in the world for 1998. Additionally he produced “Some Day” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Academy Award nominated “Go the Distance” from Hercules.
Other hits from the Walter Afanasieff songbook include “Can You Stop the Rain,” a #1 R&B single for Peabo Bryson that earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Song, “Missing You Now,” a #1 Adult Contemporary hit for Michael Bolton, “If You Go Away,” a Top 20 single for New Kids on the Block, Savage Garden’s #1 pop single “I Knew I Loved You,” and Ricky Martin’s massive global hit “She Bangs.”
The long list of additional artists Walter has written and produced music for includes Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Luther Vandross, Destiny's Child, Kenny G, Andrea Bocelli, Johnny Mathis, Kenny Loggins, Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Babyface, and Josh Groban.

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