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The oldest musician to reach number one is Brenda Lee First place on the Hot 100

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    Brenda Lee, posed, backstage, playing piano, 1960. (Photo by Harry Hammond/V&A Images/Getty Images)

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    Brenda Lee has received an early Christmas gift–one which she’s wanted for many years now. The singer’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” hits No. 1 on the Hot 100 this week for the very first time. As the seasonal win flies to the top of the tree, it helps the superstar make history in many ways–including in one specific respect, thanks to her age.

    According to Billboard, Lee is now the oldest artist to rule the Hot 100. At the time of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” being named the No. 1 smash in the U.S., the singer is 78 years old. She’ll turn 79 on this coming Monday (December 11), when her song will still be sitting at No. 1, at least for a few more hours.

    Lee rewrites the record books as the oldest musician to rule the ranking of the most-consumed songs in the U.S. That honor used to belong to Louis Armstrong, who held onto it for more than a half-century. The legendary jazz artist topped the Hot 100 with his hit “Hello, Dolly!” back in 1964. When it ruled the ranking, he was 62.

    Looking only at women, Lee is still in charge of this bit of history, winning by more than two decades. Before this week, the oldest female musician to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 with a new win was Cher. At the age of 52, she ruled the chart with “Believe” back in 1999.

    “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” hitting No. 1 on the Hot 100 has been a long time coming, though it was never guaranteed. The track has been finding its way to the top 10 on the chart each year for the past several seasons. When millions of Americans begin listening once again on streaming sites and radio stations put holiday cuts into heavy rotation, a number of classics soar, including Lee’s. Until now, she was always held back by Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

    MORE FROM FORBESBrenda Lee's 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' Hits No. 1 - 65 Years After Its ReleaseBy Hugh McIntyre


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