Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" has secured the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, surpassing Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You." This 65-year-old Christmas classic's unexpected rise can be attributed to a strategic promotional push, including the release of its first official video on its 65th anniversary and Brenda Lee's presence on TikTok.
Longevity and Resurgence
Despite the dominance of recent releases on the Billboard Hot 100, "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" has prevailed. Its enduring popularity stems from being a holiday movie staple and a radio favorite, with Brenda Lee releasing the song's first official video and joining TikTok to connect with a new generation.
Brenda Lee's TikTok Presence
Brenda Lee's TikTok engagement, including snippets from the music video and sharing insights about the song's recording at the age of 13, has contributed to its resurgence. Her direct interaction with fans, referred to as "Brendanators," aligns with TikTok's appeal for comforting content creators during the holiday season.
Jason Lipshutz, Billboard's Executive Director of Music, attributes Brenda Lee's ascent to a well-executed promotional strategy. Media buzz and a significant push from her team helped her secure the No. 1 spot for two consecutive weeks, marking her third Hot 100 No. 1 hit.
Impact of Streaming on Charts
Changes in Billboard's Hot 100 calculation formula, favoring streaming over sales since 2018, have propelled older Christmas songs like "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and others to chart-topping positions each holiday season. The shift has allowed classics to thrive without the need for annual repurchases.
Connecting with New Generations
Brenda Lee's viral presence on TikTok introduces her to a younger audience, tapping into the sentimentality of the holiday season. The focus on her story rather than a chart showdown has resonated positively with listeners, fostering a fondness for a timeless holiday song.
Future Trends in Music Promotion
Jason Lipshutz predicts a potential trend where artists, inspired by Brenda Lee's success, leverage platforms like TikTok and release music videos to promote their work. While legends like Brenda Lee see newfound success, the estates of deceased artists also benefit from the resurgence of their holiday classics.
As new holiday classics emerge, Ariana Grande's "Santa Tell Me" and Kelly Clarkson's "Underneath the Tree" are speculated to have future chart-topping potential. The familiarity and nostalgia associated with Christmas music contribute to the enduring appeal of these songs over time.