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Famous Like Me > Singer > L > Brenda Lee

Profile of Brenda Lee on Famous Like Me

Name: Brenda Lee  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 11th December 1944
Place of Birth:
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Brenda Lee on the cover of her collection, part of The Millennium Collection

Brenda Lee, real name Brenda Mae Tarpley (born December 11, 1944), was an American teen idol and country singer from Lithonia, Georgia.

She sang in a big adult voice from childhood and began her recording career at age 12 in 1956, with songs like "BIGELOW 6-2000" and "Little Jonah". The song "Dynamite" coming out of a 4 ft 9 in (1.45 meter) frame led to her lifelong nickname, "Little Miss Dynamite".

Along with Connie Francis, she was one of the first female idols, achieving huge popularity with a long string of hits. At Christmas 1958 she hit the top of the charts with "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Then, disc jockeys also dubbed her "Little Miss Razz Matazz" after her husky, pounding voice belted out her second big hit, "Sweet Nothin's."

Brenda Lee, while being a major female singer in early rock history, is considered the first female artist to be known as a crossover artist between early rock and country music. She was later joined in the same category by the late female singer Patsy Cline. In 1963, Lee released an album of uptempo American standards titled Sincerely, Brenda Lee.

Her last top-10 single was 1963's "Losing You", was a moderate success, while she continued to have other chart songs such as her 1966 song "Coming On Strong".

During the early 1970s, Lee established herself as a country music artist, and earned a string of Top 10 hits. The first came with 1973's "Nobody Wins," which reached the Top 5 that spring. The follow-up, "Sunday Sunrise," reached No. 6 on Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles chart that October. Other major hits included "Wrong Ideas" and "Big Four Poster Bed" (1974); and "Rock On Baby" and "He's My Rock" (both 1975). After a few years of lesser hits, Lee began another run at the Top 10 with 1979's "Tell Me What It's Like." Two follow-ups also reached the Top 10 in 1980: "The Cowboy and the Dandy" and "Broken Trust" (the latter featuring vocal backing by The Oak Ridge Boys). Her last well-known hit was 1985's "Hallelujah I Love Her So," a duet with George Jones.

Lee remains best remembered for her hit single "I'm Sorry," a favorite song heard continuously on country and Top 40 radio by her fans across the world.

Over the ensuing years, Brenda Lee continues to record and perform all around the world, previously cutting records in four different languages.

She is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Chuck Berry wrote a song about Brenda Lee on the album St. Louis to Liverpool.

A few of Brenda Lee's better-known hits

  • "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" (1956)
  • "Rock-A-Bye Baby Blues" (1957)
  • "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" (1958)
  • "Sweet Nothin's" (1959)
  • "I'm Sorry" (1960)
  • "Break It to Me Gently" (1962)
  • "All Alone Am I" (1962)


  • "Radio's playing some forgotten song, Brenda Lee's 'Coming on Strong'"
From "Radar Love" by Golden Earring

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Brenda Lee