Brenda Lee

A child prodigy who grew up to become Nashville's first female teen starlet, Brenda Lee charmed the early 1960s with her country pop ballads and became one of America's favourite sweethearts. Raised in a poor family in Georgia, Atlanta, Lee (real name Brenda Tarpley) was entranced by the music she heard on the radio as a toddler and started doing talent shows at three-years-old before being discovered by Red Foley and releasing her first record, a cover of Hank Williams' Jambalaya (On The Bayou), at the grand old age of twelve. Nicknamed Little Miss Dynamite, the sound of her huge, piercing voice coming out of her diminutive 4ft 9in frame proved a real novelty and she scored her first major hit with the classic Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree in 1958. She topped the US charts with I Want To Be Wanted in 1960 and went on to reach the Top 10 with 11 singles, including Break It To Me Gently, All Alone Am I, Losing You and Fool No 1. The first female artist to be inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame, Lee remained a big star on the country scene well into the 1970s and still continues to record and perform today.

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