Brenda Lee smashes records as 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' finally tops US chart after 65 years

5 December 2023, 13:12

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By Mayer Nissim

Brenda Lee finally shimmies to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

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Brenda Lee first released her now-classic 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' way back in 1958 when she was just 13 years old.

Amazingly, it wasn't an instant hit, failing to chart on its initial release or its re-release the following year.

It was in 1960 after Lee had already gained popularity that 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' raced up the charts, peaking at a more-than-respectable number 14 in the Billboard Hot 100 that year.

In the years since, it's only grown in stature. Recently it's found itself nestled just behind Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' as the biggest Christmas song in the US.

This year, just weeks before her 79th birthday, Brenda filmed a lovely new music video featuring her lip-synching to her classic original singing, which may have helped the song – and Brenda herself – make history.

Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree (Official Music Video)

A combination of 34.9 million streams, 20.7 million radio plays and 3,000 downloads in the week of November 30 has catapulted the song to the very top of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.

At 78 years old, Brenda is the oldest person to ever top the US chart, beating the then-62-year-old Louis Armstrong who scored number one with 'Hello, Dolly' in 1964.

Lee smashes the record for the oldest woman to top the chart held for 25 years by Cher with her massive 'Believe'.

Brenda Lee at Christmas
Brenda Lee at Christmas. Picture: Getty Images

Had a 13-year-old Brenda actually topped the chart on the song's first release she'd be the youngest woman with a number one – a record still held technically by Little Peggy March who hit the top with 'I Will Follow Him' in 1963 when she was 15.

'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' predictably has the record with the longest wait from release to topping the chart at 65 years.

The song it beat? None other than Mariah's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You', which actually only reached number one in 2019, 25 after its release in 1994.

On a personal level, Brenda now also has the longest span between number ones – 63 years, one month and two weeks.

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