NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Entertainer Brenda Lee has settled a $20 million lawsuit over recording royalties with MCA Records, her lawyer, Aleta Arthur, said Friday.

U.S. District Judge John Nixon ordered details sealed and confidential, at the request of both Miss Lee and MCA.

Miss Lee sued MCA a year ago, claiming she had been cheated out of royalties from record sales dating to 1962. MCA lawyers countered that the legal time had expired years ago for her to make the claim.

The lawsuit said MCA failed to account to her for more than 180 record albums released outside the United States. The lawsuit also sought royalties on sales of recordings with other artists as well as close-out and promotional records that included a 25th anniversary album.

She became an international child star in 1956 with the hit, ''I'm Sorry.'' She signed an exclusive contract with Decca Records in 1962, renewing it four times through 1977. MCA acquired Decca in 1971.