Lee’s still rocking around the tree at 78 (and she’s No.1)

“Little Miss Dynamite”, who celebrates her 79th birthday tomorrow, is the oldest star to land a number one in the US singles chart, the Billboard Hot 100.

And so thrilled is the pint-sized singer, she said: “If I could jump out of my clothes, I would. You can’t keep a good song down.”

The arduous climb of her timeless festive hit to the pinnacle of pop music has surpassed the previous slowest rise to No1.

Mariah Carey’s 1994 song All I Want For Christmas Is You took 25 years.

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, which Brenda recorded in November 1958, has been second in the chart behind her rival’s song on several occasions.

“It’s been a serious road block,” joked Brenda. “But you know what? If something’s going to be in front of you, you want it to be good. And it was.”

Her success comes just weeks after getting a five-times platinum award for five million sales.

The catchy, rockabilly-style number – written by the late Johnny Marks – currently also boasts almost 850 million digital plays on Spotify alone.

The singer, who retired as a full-time performer 23 years ago, credits its longevity to featuring in the soundtrack of blockbuster festive film Home Alone in 1990.

In one scene, child star Macaulay Culkin’s character turns it on full blast to pretend there is a party going on to deter burglars.

Brenda said: “I got a call from one of my friends and they said, ‘Have you seen Home Alone? Your song is all over the place in that’. I said, ‘Which song?’. I think that’s when it really got the boost that started it.”

Rockin’ immediately took off again as a seasonal party and karaoke hit that has inspired a string of cover versions.

It reached number four in the UK last year and a Comic Relief version by Kim Wilde and comedian Mel Smith, reached number three at Christmas in 1987.

Grammy Award winner Brenda, who has two children with her husband of 60 years Ronnie Shacklett, enjoyed a string of other hits including I’m Sorry, and Sweet Nothin’s.

In the US, she was the first woman inducted into both the Country Music and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.

During the 1960s only the legendary Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Ray Charles sold more records than her in America.


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