Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ hits No. 1 on Billboard

Brenda Lee arrives at the 57th Annual CMA Awards on Nov. 8, 2023
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Brenda Lee’s classic holiday song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” has been a popular addition to radio stations and Christmas party playlists for years. Now, 65 years after its debut, Lee’s perennial holiday favorite has reached the number-one spot on Billboard’s Top Hot 100 Chart.

Billboard released its weekly chart of popular songs with “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” sitting on top like a shiny star on the highest bough of the Christmas tree.

Artist Brenda Lee performs at the 'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree' concert
Laura Roberts/Invision/AP

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For the past few years during the holiday season, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” often got stuck at the No. 2 spot behind Mariah Carey’s blockbuster “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” But this year, the 78-year-old singer told Variety she finally took over the No. 1 chart position thanks to the hard work of many others.

“I have wonderful people at my company that I’ve been with since I was 10 years old,” Lee said. “And I have wonderful, wonderful fans that have been with me from the first time I opened my mouth to sing, and […] everyone’s been loyal and I’m more happy for them than I am for me. You can’t keep a good song down.”

Lee was only 13 years old when she recorded “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.”

Just a few weeks ago, the singer teamed up with country superstars Tanya Tucker and Trisha Yearwood to make a music video for the “Rockin” little song that could.

“It was not fancy, but it was real,” Lee told Variety of filming the video, which you can watch below. “And Tanya came, and Trisha Yearwood came, and we had little kids and mamas, and it was just fun

The new No. 1 song in the country breaks a few records with its ascent, according to Billboard.

“Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” is only the third holiday song to hit Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. The other two? “The Chipmunk Song” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

The song now has the longest wait from its release to hitting No. 1. It took 65 years for “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” to reach the milestone. The previous longest wait was 25 years, by Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

Billboard also says Lee will also celebrate being the artist with the longest break between No. 1 songs. Her previous No. 1 song was “I Want To Be Wanted” in 1960. Cher held the previous record, with just under 25 years between “Dark Lady” in 1974 and “Believe” in 1999.

Finally, Lee became the “senior-most artist to top the chart” when “Rockin'” climbed to No. 1, Billboard says. Previously, Louis Armstrong had the chart-topping song “Hello Dolly” in 1964, when he was 62 years old.

Lee is slated to perform on the “Christmas at the Opry Special” scheduled to air on NBC at 8 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 7. You can also stream it on-demand on Peacock after the special airs on NBC.

Entertainment, Holiday & Seasonal, Music, News
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About the Author
Marie Rossiter
Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World.

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