Brenda Lee is an American pop, rockabilly and country music singer; one of the most successful artists of the early ’60s.
Brenda started her music career at ten when she appeared on the popular country music television show “TV Ranch”.
In 1956, Decca Records offered her a recording contract.
After her father’s death, the family moved from Atlanta to Nashville and Brenda, under the wing of manger Dub Allbritten and the legendary producer Owen Bradley, toured the country with stars like Patsy Cline, Mel Tillis, and George Jones.
First single was “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)”, a Hank Williams’ cover that was first released in 1952.
Between 1959 and 1962, Lee had a stunning series of huge hits: “Sweet nothin’s”, “I’m sorry”, “Fool no. 1”, “Everybody loves me but you”.
She had 47 US chart hits, a number surpassed only by Elvis, Ray Charles, and The Beatles in that period.
Her last top-10 single on the pop charts was 1963’s “Losing you” but she was able to re-established herself as a country music artist in the 70’s.
In subsequent decades, Brenda continued to perform and tour getting a Grammy nomination for “Honky tonk angels’ medley”, a 1989 K.D. Lang collaboration.
1998 and 1999 were difficult years for the singer: her friend-producer Owen Bradley died and then Brenda was diagnosed with cysts on her vocal chords. Luckily, danger was averted.
Celebrating over 50 years as a recording artist, Brenda Lee was given the Jo Meador-Walker Lifetime Achievement award by Source Nashville in September 2006.
Recently, Lee’s classic “Rockin’ around the Christmas tree” has been added to the Grammy Hall of Fame.