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Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” Battles Mariah Carey For Top Of The Charts

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For people who love the winter holiday season, they have no shortage of festive tunes to belt out, whether they prefer traditional and faith-based songs or whimsical ditties. But two stand out this year, with Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” enjoying renewed support, enough so that it might just dislodge Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” from its throne at the top of the charts. Just how close of a battle are these two juggernauts locked into?

Upon release in 1994 as part of Carey’s first holiday album, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has become a staple of Christmas as much as trees and presents, with the New York Times describing it as “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon.” As for Lee’s 1958 carol, her version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2019. Earlier this month, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100, which is just part of the quiet but very powerful resurgence its been enjoying lately.

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“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee has been catching up to “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey

Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee is clawing its way to the top of the charts / Everett Collection

Lee is celebrating the 65th anniversary of the monumental “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” with a campaign on multiple fronts. She’s on TikTok encouraging listeners with a message declaring, “Hello Brendanators, grandmother is here.” She also recently released a new music video of her lip-singing, accompanied by Trisha Yearwood and Tanya Tucker.

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RELATED: Brenda Lee Still ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’ 65 Years After Her Hit Song’s Release

Part of this Lee renaissance, notes Forbes writer Conor Murray, is the advent of streaming, which wields a powerful marketing presence of its own. Not only has streaming increased accessibility, with hopeful listeners no longer dependent upon buying a physical album, but it also creates a venue to craft themed playlists. Namely, holiday playlists, within each one you can expect to hear Lee and Carey.

Billboard releases its Hot 100 Top 10 each week on Monday and the battle between Carey and Lee fans is ongoing and fierce; every moment counts towards determining the final results.

Both artists are forces of musical nature

Brenda Lee is coming close to beating Mariah Carey as Queen of Christmas / Brian Douglas / ©Hallmark Channel / courtesy Everett Collection

If anyone might shatter the festive status quo, it seems Lee is the best situated. Typically, Carey’s juggernaut of a jingle stays at the top of the Hot 100 each holiday season, a tradition that’s been especially in place since 2019.

Just behind it in second place? Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Usually. But on November 29, Billboard reported that Carey was actually in second place, and who had replaced her? Lee.

Meanwhile, on Spotify, Carey’s song ranks sixth while Lee sits comfortably in third place. Billboard calls it one of the closest races in years and one that could go either way at any given moment.

Both artists have a strong online campaign going / YouTube screenshot

Either way, though, listeners are winning. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” boasts the catchy songwriting talent of Johnny Marks, who also penned “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and  “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It also shows off Lee’s remarkable singing power, as, despite her mature-sounding voice, she was just 13 when she sang that song. As for Carey, her holiday hit isn’t going anywhere, as just this year it was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Recording Registry.

Which song do you prefer?

All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey / YouTube screenshot

RELATED: Mariah Carey’s ‘Messed Up Childhood’ Led Her To Her Love For Christmas

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