Mariah Carey sends Brenda Lee flowers after her Christmas song tops charts

Mariah Carey and Brenda Lee
AP Photo

Mariah Carey took a moment to pay homage to Brenda Lee this week for a very special reason. Nowadays, Brenda Lee isn’t a household name like Mariah, but you likely know her music very well — especially her holiday classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Brenda Lee first recorded the song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” in 1958. The song hit No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. And, this week, 65 years after it was recorded, Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” claimed the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100.

If you have some tissues handy, you can watch as the 78-year-old Lee receives the news that her song has finally reached the top spot:

Of course, this means that Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” which has often held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 during the holidays, was knocked down to No. 2.

But the Queen of Christmas was gracious about sharing her crown. Carey quickly congratulated Lee and even sent her a bouquet with a note that read, “Dearest Ms. Brenda, Congratulations on your historic #1. Have a Merry Christmas. Love, Mariah.”

Lee shared a snap of the bouquet and note on her social media accounts.

MORE: Watch Mariah Carey deforst to start the holiday season

Lee first recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” when she was only 13 years old. The song, which was written by holiday hitmaker Johnny Marks (he also wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas”), soon became a beloved classic that has been covered by singers as far-ranging as Ann-Margaret, The Partridge Family, Alabama, Justin Bieber and Kacey Musgraves.

But this year, Lee took steps to reclaim the single as her own. Last month she released her first official music video for the song, featuring cameos from country legends Tanya Tucker and Trisha Yearwood.

She also released a new album, “A Rockin’ Christmas with Brenda Lee.” On the EP, she covers a handful of Christmas classics, including her signature single and “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “A Marshmallow World.”

And last night, she performed on NBC’s holiday special, “Christmas at the Opry.”

Lee in turn has been gracious about having her song be No. 2 behind Carey’s all this time. When Variety asked Lee if she ever thought her holiday hit could surpass Carey’s, she only had kind words to share.

“It’s been a serious roadblock,” Lee said. “But you know what, if something’s gonna be in front of you, you want it to be good. And it was.”

Entertainment, Music, News

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Bridget Sharkey
Bridget Sharkey is a freelance writer covering pop culture, beauty, food, health and nature.

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