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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- January 11, 1988
- Vol. 29
- No. 1
Little Sharon Batts Sings Her Way to Stardom with a Plea to Jesus to Stop Child Abuse
Still unavailable in most record stores, Sharon's hit wasn't cut from the common vinyl. She made "Dear Mr. Jesus" in 1985, when she was just 6 years old. It was on an album titled Shelter From the Storm, which languished for two years, getting play only on Christian radio stations. Then, on Nov. 1, a Top 40 station in Tampa, Fla., gave it a spin, and the switchboard went crazy. The same thing has been happening all over, especially in New York, a city still raw from the alleged beating death of 6-year-old Lisa Steinberg only two months ago. One station, WHTZ-FM, reports receiving 3,000 phone requests a day from New Yorkers who want to hear Sharon sing.
Sharon, meanwhile, won't make a penny from "Dear Mr. Jesus." Her father, Jim, the editor of several trade journals, says all the profits will be poured back into making Christian music. That's fine with Sharon, an honor-roll third grader who still goes everywhere with her favorite doll, Bessie, and is well fortified against the perils of fame and fortune. "It feels good," she says, "to know that people like my song. But I have to be careful, because sometimes when people get famous they fall flat on their face."
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