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Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ Hits No. 1 for the First Time 

Photo courtesy of MCA Records/Billy Smith-management via Wiki Commons

Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ Hits No. 1 for the First Time 

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Singer Brenda Lee’s 1958 Christmas classic, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” knocked out Mariah Carey’s, AKA the “Queen of Christmas,” hit with its first No. 1 spot on the Hot 100. 

“’Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ is the first holiday song to reach No. 1 on the Hot 100 above Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You,’ which has ruled the Hot 100 every holiday season beginning in 2019 for 12 total weeks atop the chart,” Forbes reported. 

“Written by Johnny Marks, the man behind Christmas favourites such as ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ and ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,’ the song was recorded when Lee was 13,” the Guardian reported. “Initially a flop, it rose to the US Top 20 in 1960 after Lee’s pop career had taken off and earned her back-to-back No. 1 singles earlier that year.”  

The song became even more famous after its use in the extremely successful 1991 movie HOME ALONE. Now, at a time when streaming services are the medium of choice for music listeners, the song makes the 2023 Christmas season its home on the charts. 

Lee released her first-ever music video for the song just one month prior.  

Billboard shared a reaction video of when Lee first heard the news about the song’s place on the No. 1 list. The 78-year-old singer couldn’t believe it. 

“No,” she said as she covered her mouth in shock. “Really?… That’s fabulous.” 

The 65-year gap from the song’s release to its peak at the top of the charts isn’t the only impressive thing about it. 

The Guardian reported. “At 78, Lee is now the oldest person to top the US chart, overtaking a record held by Louis Armstrong since 1964, when he reached No 1 with Hello, Dolly!” 

Movieguide® recently reported on Lee’s competition, Mariah Carey’s holiday tour: 

While fall just started, Mariah Carey is looking ahead to winter as she prepares to start her annual “Merry Christmas One and All!” tour. 

“Yes, the actual defrosting has begun! Announcing the MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL Tour!” Carey said on X at the beginning of October. 

The 13-venue tour kicks off on November 15 in Highland, California, before wrapping up in New York City on December 17 after stops across the country and Canada. 


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