Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree Tops the Charts for the First Time in 65 Years

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photo by Alexa King Stone

Rock and Roll Hall and Country Music Hall of Famer Brenda Lee’s iconic holiday hit “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” tops the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time ever, 65 years after the song’s debut.

By hitting the No.1 spot, Lee breaks several records, many of which were held by Mariah Carey and “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” whom Lee beat out for the top spot this week. Lee claims just the third holiday No.1 ever on the Hot 100.

This is also Lee’s third No. 1. She now holds the record for the longest gap between an artist’s first and most recent week at No.1 on the Hot 100, as her first No.1 was her single “I’m Sorry” in 1960, 63 years ago. Lee and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” now also hold the record for the longest climb to the top of the Hot 100, as the Johnny Marks-written hit was released 65 years ago, when Lee was just 13 years old. Now, at almost 79-years-old, Lee is also the oldest woman to top the Hot 100, surpassing previous record-holders Cher (“Believe,” age 52) and Carey (“All I Want for Christmas is You,” age 53).

“This is amazing! I cannot believe that ‘Rockin’’ has hit No. 1 65 years after it was released, this is just so special! Thank you to the team at UMG/UMe who worked so hard to celebrate the song’s anniversary this year. But most importantly, thank you to the fans who keep listening. The song came out when I was a young teenager and now to know that it has resonated with multiple generations and continues to resonate – it is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Keep on Rockin’ and Merry Christmas!” shared Brenda Lee in a statement.

For the song’s 65th anniversary, Lee released the first ever music video for “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” featuring cameos by country stars Tanya Tucker and Trisha Yearwood. She also released a new EP, A Rockin’ Christmas with Brenda Lee, featuring “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and other holiday favorites including “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock” “A Marshmallow World” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” reimagined by Filous.