Advertisement
New Zealand markets open in 4 hours 9 minutes
  • NZX 50

    11,719.82
    +29.57 (+0.25%)
     
  • NZD/USD

    0.6197
    +0.0002 (+0.03%)
     
  • ALL ORDS

    7,899.20
    +33.90 (+0.43%)
     
  • OIL

    76.57
    -2.04 (-2.60%)
     
  • GOLD

    2,045.80
    +15.10 (+0.74%)
     

Brenda Lee's 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' Hits No. 1 For The First Time

Sixty-five years after its release, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee has officially become the No. 1 song in the country.

On Monday, Billboard confirmed that Lee’s classic holiday tune had appeared atop this week’s Hot 100 chart, which measures the 100 most popular songs in the U.S. Not surprisingly, the list is populated at the moment by a number of Christmas staples, including Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Lee celebrated the achievement with a short note on her Instagram Stories.

“We did it, Brendanators!” she wrote.

At 78, Lee becomes the oldest performer in history to top the Hot 100. Her tune also sets a new record for the longest gap between a song’s release and its appearance in the top spot. The previous record holder was “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which took 25 years to make that journey.

Though many assume her raspy, rockabilly voice to be that of a more mature performer, Lee was just 13 years old when she recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” in 1958. The song was written by Johnny Marks, who also wrote the holiday standards “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Silver and Gold,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

Two years after its initial release, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” entered Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first time, coming in at No. 14.

Much like “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the song skyrockets in airplay annually between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the past four years, it’s reached a peak position of No. 2, kept from the top spot by ― what else? ― “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

“I would’ve never thought in my wildest dreams that ‘Rockin’’ would be my signature song,” said Brenda Lee, seen here at the 2023 CMA Awards last month.
“I would’ve never thought in my wildest dreams that ‘Rockin’’ would be my signature song,” said Brenda Lee, seen here at the 2023 CMA Awards last month.

“I would’ve never thought in my wildest dreams that ‘Rockin’’ would be my signature song,” said Brenda Lee, seen here at the 2023 CMA Awards last month.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is Lee’s third No. 1 song. The Georgia-born singer previously topped the Hot 100 chart with “I’m Sorry” and “I Want To Be Wanted.” Both songs were released in 1960.

“I would’ve never thought in my wildest dreams that ‘Rockin’’ would be my signature song,” Lee, who is based in Nashville, Tennessee, told The New York Times in an interview published last month.

After joking that she and Carey were Christmas competitors, Lee added: “Oh, there’s room for everybody. Her song’s good, too. I love her singing.”

The Billboard announcement comes amid renewed interest in both Lee and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” In November, a video for the song was unveiled, showing a glammed-up Lee enjoying a Yuletide fête with fellow musicians Tanya Tucker and Trisha Yearwood.

Shortly after the video’s release, footage of Lee singing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” over an airplane intercom went viral. She’s also become a regular presence on TikTok, where she’s racked up more than 84,000 followers.

Those hoping for a more formal rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” should catch Lee’s performance on NBC’s “Christmas at the Opry,” which airs Thursday.

Watch the music video for “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” below. 

Related...