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Brenda Lee was one of the 1960s' most popular artists. Best known for her "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," her career has spanned over five decades.
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Judy Garland. She had fans all over the world.
At the age of 18, she met and fell in love with Ronnie Shacklett (6'4" tall). Against the wishes of her manager and her mother, they were married. They had two daughters, Julie and Jolie. Julie's birth was very traumatic. She was born with a Hyalin Membrane disease and was not expected to live. Her life was saved by the brilliance of Dr. Mildred Stalman—the same doctor who had attended the births of the Kennedy Children.
the Beatles had taken over the North American music scene. Her longtime manager and father figure Dub Allbritten died. Brenda became depressed and could not find a place for herself in the music industry that she loved so much. And the years on the road caught up with her. In 1974, Brenda was rushed to hospital with life threatening blood clots. Emergency surgery saved her life. Eventually, Brenda returned to her country and western roots. In late 1974, she recorded songwriter Kris Kristopherson's first song, "Nobody Wins." It hit the top ten on the Country Charts, and Brenda was back on top with a string of C&W hits. She received awards and accolades from The Georgia Music Hall of Fame and The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Brenda continued to perform and tour at a relentless pace. Her 1989 appearance on K.D. Lang's album Shadowland gave her yet another Grammy nomination. In 1998, Owen Bradley died, and Brenda was completely devastated. She mustered every fiber in her being to sing "There Will Be Peace In the Valley" at his funeral. In 1999, Brenda was diagnosed with cysts on her vocal chords. Facing surgery that may permanently damage her vocal chords, Brenda chose instead to take time off and rest. Although not cured, the damage has been halted. Still married to her loving Ronnie and with her children close by, Brenda continues to sing her heart out for audiences all over the world. She is still "Little Miss Dynamite."
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