Brenda Lee Talks Massive Success of ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ [EXCLUSIVE]

When Brenda Lee recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” she was just 13 years old. She never imagined that the song would be the one people still wanted to her, more than six decades later.

“I never, ever thought that it would be my signature song,” the 78-year-old admits to Everything Nash. “I always thought ‘I’m Sorry’ might be, but it was never ‘Rockin’.” I knew ‘Rockin’ was good, but it comes out once a year, so I thought, they only have a short span to like it, to buy it, whatever they’re going to do. So I never dreamed that it would end up like this.”

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is only part of Lee’s legendary career, which includes more than 40 charting singles, and over 100 million albums sold. Her crossover success made her the first female artist to be a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, among numerous other accolades.

“It’s amazing … It’s like, ‘No, that’s not me. That’s not me,'” Lee says of her numerous accomplishments. “And to that extent, it’s not me. It’s the songwriters. It’s the song. It’s the disc jockeys that played it. It’s the record company that put it out. It’s the fans, first and foremost. It’s the people that bought the records. I’m grateful that I got to sing it.

“I never take it for granted,” she adds. “I’m retired now, but every show I ever did on the road, ‘Rockin” was a part of it. At a fair with 90 degrees, or at a Christmas show, it was always a part of the show.”

In honor of the 65th anniversary of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Lee released an official video of the song, with cameos by both Trisha Yearwood and Tanya Tucker.

“For those out there who know me and have supported me and my music through the years, I’m very proud to be putting out the first-ever music video for ‘Rockin.'” Lee said when the video was released. “This song has been so special to me – I never thought it would be my signature song, but I love that it is because it brings so much joy.

“I remember the day I recorded this wonderful Johnny Marks song, and here we are 65 years later and I’m only here because of you,” she continued. “I won’t ever meet all of you, but I know you are there and have been since I was a little girl – so thank you, and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!”

Lee just released a new Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree EP, featuring the song along with other holiday favorites, including “Jingle Bell Rock,” “A Marshmallow World” and more. Lee will also perform “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” for the upcoming holiday special, Christmas at the Opry, hosted by Wynonna Judd. The show airs on December 7 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC.

Find “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and all of Lee’s music and upcoming shows at