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 the 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."
Her last top-10 single was 1963's "Losing You", although she continued to have moderate success with her 1966 song "Coming On Strong". Over the ensuing years, Brenda Lee continued to record and perform all around the world, cutting records in four different languages.
She is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.