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Mariah Carey dethroned from Christmas charts by 65-year-old hit

Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time ever this week, beating Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” in a heated chart battle.

Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has dominated the December charts every year since 2019, spending a total of 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

However, Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”, which was first released in 1958, forged ahead this year with 34.9 million streams and 20.9 million radio airplay impressions.

In the process, the song broke a number of chart records. 65 years after its release, it becomes the oldest song ever to top the Billboard Hot 100. The previous record was held by Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, which was 25 years old when it first topped the charts in 2019.

Lee, who is 78, also became the oldest person to ever top the Billboard Hot 100. When she recorded the song with producer Owen Bradley on 19 October 1958 she was just 13 years old, which would have made her the youngest person to ever top the charts if the song had reached the summit on release.

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is Lee’s third No 1 hit, following “I’m Sorry” and “I Want To Be Wanted”, which both topped the charts in 1960. She is also well-known for the title track of her 1966 album “Coming On Strong”.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has spent a total of 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 since 2019. (Mariah Carey)
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has spent a total of 12 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 since 2019. (Mariah Carey)

Last month, Carey released a video declaring the start of the Christmas season.

As the clock struck midnight on Wednesday 1 November, Carey posted a video clip showing an ice-covered bank vault, with the clock signifying that it was 11.59pm on 31 October.

As soon as the time changed to midnight, the vault door swung open, revealing Carey inside, dressed in red while captured in a block of ice. Around her, people dressed as Halloween characters, with pumpkins for heads and Ghostface masks, were shown blowing the ice with hairdressers, referencing a meme joking that Carey hibernates for 10 months of the year and only needs “defrosting” for November and December.

Eventually, Carey was able to release herself, singing the words: “It’s time” at whistle-note pitch and causing the ice to smash. Swiftly, Carey was surrounded by snow, Christmas presents, and people excited for Christmas cheer as “All I Want For Christmas Is You” played.