(Debuted August 9, 1980, Peaked #21, 23 Weeks on the Chart)
First of all, I need to make an apology. Back in April, I mentioned here that Glenn Mediros was one of series of teenaged singers who hit in the last half of the 1980s. That was true, but I also mentioned that no teenaged solo singers made the Top 40 in the 1980s until 1986. That little nugget was placed into my head by Casey Kasem, who mentioned it on one of his shows. And here I am looking at Stacy Lattisaw, who was under 20 and had two Top 40 hits (and a string of R&B hits) in that time frame. That said, it might have been easy to forget her age, since she wasn't treated like a teenybopper when it came to recording.
In 1980, Lattisaw's first Top 40 hit was "Let Me Be Your Angel," where the 13 year-old showed that -- while she was still growing into her range -- she was willing to explore the full limits of her voice. What's really interesting is that the album the song appeared on wasn't even her debut. That came in 1979, when she was 12 years old and recorded Young and in Love with Van McCoy. Sadly, McCoy passed away that year, so Narada Michael Walden took her under his wing as a producer and co-wrote many of her songs (including "Let Me Be Your Angel."
Under Walden, Lattisaw's career blossomed. Despite her age, she wasn't given the typical bubblegum-flavored fare. That's one of the reasons that "Let Me Be Your Angel" is impressive once you realize that it's a 13 year-old singing it.