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This Day in Georgia History

December 11, 1944

Brenda Lee Born

To view an image of Brenda Lee, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Singer Brenda Mae Tarpley was born in Atlanta, Georgia - in the charity ward of Grady Hospital. Growing up in Lithonia, Brenda’s family was poor, and her father was constantly seeking work as a carpenter. Moving among numerous rental houses, Brenda found a rock of stability in her grandfather’s Baptist church, where even at age five she amazed church-goers with her powerful voice. Soon her voice was discovered and she was on her way to stardom under the name Brenda Lee. Early in her career, she was rock ‘n roll singer with such hits as “Dynamite,”“I’m Sorry,” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” By age thirty she had moved to the country music scene, where she continued her popularity. On Sept. 24, 1997, Brenda Lee was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Despite living in Nashville today, she still claims Georgia as her home.