A Christmas Classic Over Half A Century Old Just Hit #1

By Britta DeVore | Published

holographic christmas tree

Move over Mariah Carey because there’s a new old Christmas song that’s climbed the charts to claim the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. That’s right, according to Huff Post, the queen of Christmas has been dethroned by none other than Brenda Lee with her 65-year-old classic, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” ‘Tis the season for holiday classics and Brenda Lee’s tune about caroling, eating pumpkin pie, and enjoying a good old-fashioned Christmas party finds itself holding a spot alongside Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

It’s been a lifelong journey for Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to make it to the number one Billboard Hot 100 spot during the season of giving. The now 78-year-old singer first dropped the Christmas classic when she was only 13 years old in 1958.

Move over Mariah Carey: Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is the #1 song for the holiday season.

Along with reaching this all-time career high, it also marks a monumental moment for Lee who has broken the record for being the oldest singer in history to find herself landing the bragging rights of being the most-listened to singer on the famous chart.

A huge cause for celebration, Brenda Lee took to her social media to thank her listeners in an Instagram story that said, “We did it, Brendanators!” When “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” first dropped all those decades ago, it would be a full two years before the singer would see her name on Billboard’s Hot 100.

mariah carey
Maria Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” music video

When the song finally made its well-earned debut appearance, it would shoot straight past the competition and lock in on the fourteenth spot. In the last few years, it’s been held off from topping the chart by Mariah Carey’s classic, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”

The now 78-year-old singer first dropped the Christmas classic when she was only 13 years old in 1958.

Having a lengthy repertoire in penning some of the most notable and ear-worm holiday songs of the last almost century, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” was written by Johnny Marks. Marks is the composer known for other such catchy seasonal classics as “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and more. While recent years have seen just about every pop star under the sun releasing their own festive albums, it’s these timeless tunes that, for many, bring the season into full swing.

Although younger generations may only know Brenda Lee for “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” those who grew up in the ‘60s or are fans of the decade that brought us The Beatles, The Doors, Grateful Dead, and other favorite bands, will know at least two of Lee’s other tunes.

While it may have taken her decades to reach the number one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 for her addition to the Christmas canon, the singer previously found her name at the coveted spot on the chart with “I’m Sorry” and “I Want To Be Wanted,” both of which were dropped in 1960.

With a few weeks to go until the day that Santa Claus comes to town, there’s plenty of time for Mariah Carey to reclaim her top spot on the charts and knock “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” to a lower position. Or, perhaps another favorite will rise through the ranks and prove itself to be this year’s holiday classic. Because there are so many favorite tunes to choose from, it will undoubtedly be another close race throughout the month of December.