Beyond the Christmas Classic: Brenda Lee’s Dazzling Journey in Music Post ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ Success


Brenda Lee, a musical icon with a career spanning over six decades, has left an indelible mark on the music industry. Despite her notable successes across various genres, she is prominently celebrated during the holiday season for her timeless hit “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Decades after its release in 1958 when Lee was merely 13 years old, the song surged to the top of the Hot 100 chart in December 2023, making her the oldest person to achieve this feat and dethroning Mariah Carey’s Christmas anthem.

At 78, Brenda Lee broke Louis Armstrong’s record set in 1964, displaying her enduring popularity and widespread resonance across multiple generations. Overwhelmed with joy, Lee expressed her disbelief and gratitude, emphasizing the song’s profound impact on various age groups throughout the years, considering it one of the greatest gifts she has received.

While Lee is widely recognized for her holiday hit, her musical repertoire extends far beyond it. Her chart-topping successes include tracks like “I’m Sorry,” “I Want to Be Wanted,” “Sweet Nothin’s,” “All Alone Am I,” and “Jambalaya.” Her exceptional career led Rolling Stone to acknowledge her as one of the 200 Best Singers of All Time.


Lee’s achievements also extend to her multiple inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, becoming the first woman to earn these dual honors. With over 100 million records sold worldwide, she holds a significant position in music history, standing alongside only a select few artists with such an impressive legacy.

Even though Lee announced her retirement from touring in 2020, she occasionally returns to music-related activities. Her impact on the industry remains unparalleled, evident in her 47 top 100 hits and her emergence from retirement for a live performance at the Country Music Hall of Fame’s All for the Hall fundraiser, where she delivered an unforgettable rendition of her iconic hit.

Despite her retirement, Brenda Lee continues to cherish her roots and connections to her home state of Georgia, acknowledging the profound influence it had on shaping her identity and career. Her dedication to music and her enduring legacy make her an iconic figure in the world of entertainment, with her contributions transcending generations.