Music

New Old-Fashioned No. 1: Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ Tops Hot 100, 65 Years After Its Release

Brenda Lee dances merrily to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart with her holiday classic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” The song rewrites multiple records as it tops the chart for the first time – 65 years after its release. Lee, meanwhile, adds her third No. 1 – and her first since 1960.

Plus, four other carols return to the Hot 100’s top 10: Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” up from No. 12 to No. 4; Wham!’s “Last Christmas” (13-5); Burl Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (16-6); and Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (28-10).

Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” on Decca/MCA Nashville/UMe, becomes the 1,161st No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 65-year archives. Below, let’s unwrap the coronation of the song, whose history dates back just as long.

The Hot 100 blends all-genre U.S. streaming (official audio and official video), radio airplay and sales data, the lattermost metric reflecting purchases of physical singles and digital tracks from full-service digital music retailers; digital singles sales from direct-to-consumer (D2C) sites are excluded from chart calculations. All charts (dated Dec. 9, 2023) will update on Billboard.com tomorrow (Dec. 5). For all chart news, you can follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

Luminate, the independent data provider to the Billboard charts, completes a thorough review of all data submissions used in compiling the weekly chart rankings. Luminate reviews and authenticates data. In partnership with Billboard, data deemed suspicious or unverifiable is removed, using established criteria, before final chart calculations are made and published.

Brenda Lee, 57th Annual CMA Awards
Brenda Lee at The 57th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 8, 2023.

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