Brenda Lee Brenda sang in a big adult voice from childhood and began her recording career at age 14 in 1956, with songs like "BIGELOW 6-200" (pronounced six two oh oh) 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 first attracted attention performing in country music venues and her first single, 1957's "One Step at a Time" was a country hit. However, her label and management felt it best to market her exclusively as a pop artist, the result being none of her best-known recordings from the 1960's were released to country radio. She would not have another country hit until 1971.
Her last top-10 single, 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, Lee has continued 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. She was also immortalized in the hit Golden Earring song "Radar Love": "Radio's playing some forgotten song / Brenda Lee's 'Coming on Strong'."
Although her songs have often centered on lost loves, and although she did lose her father at a young age, she has been married to her husband since 1963.