Stacy Lattisaw was a mere 16 years old in 1983 (the Best Year for Music Ever!) and had already notched two Top 40 hits and a number one Dance Club hit, along with seven hits on the Black Singles Chart. Working with future super-producer Narada Michael Walden, the two set their sights on fully crossing over to the pop charts with her fifth album, the appropriately titled Sixteen.
“Million Dollar Babe” was the first single (provided here in its superior 7″ mix, yet to make it to CD), and on paper it seemed like a can’t miss. Over an updated Motown beat, Stacy delivers a comfortable, fun vocal that belies her true age. In retrospect, it’s a tad syrupy and over-synthesized, but it should have nestled comfortably on the pop charts next to Irene Cara, Michael Jackson and Hall & Oates. However, it didn’t even chart. That would have to fall to Sixteen’s second single, “Miracles”, and even that limped to #72. Here’s Stacy performing “Miracles” in front of some plywood:
Stacy continued recording through the 80s, signing to Motown and updating her image, with continued success on the R&B charts, including some memorable duets with Johnny Gill. She retired after her final album in 1989 to raise her family. Narada Michael Walden would go on to learn from his work with Stacy and notch huge hits for the likes of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin.
“Million Dollar Babe” peaked at #52 on the Billboard Black Singles Chart in 1983.
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