11/03/1980 at 01:00 AM EST
Stacy Lattisaw earns up to $6,000 a night opening for Smokey Robinson or George Benson, and she's still only 13. Her heart-thumping single, Dynamite, hit No. 1 on Billboard's disco charts, and her latest, Let Me Be Your Angel (also the title of her second album), made a bulleted start in that direction. Shy and soft-spoken offstage, she is the daughter of a Washington, D.C. government printing supervisor and his wife, who sang in a high school band with Marvin Gaye. Stacy began accompanying her mother in family songfests seven years ago and soon began to enter local talent contests. Then came a concert with Ramsey Lewis before 40,000 not far from her modest brick home in the capital. Finally Cotillion Records signed her to a five-year contract, with most of her proceeds put in trust. On the road Stacy is chaperoned by her family and two bodyguards. Her mother also keeps a close eye on her lyrics, for example insisting that "Do it all night" be changed to "Do it all right." Booked this fall with Teddy Pendergrass, Stacy manages to attend school three days a week and travels with a tutor. Does she have any unfulfilled ambitions? Yes, she would like to to perform with her idol, Michael Jackson, and someday, she grins, "have a sports car and a mansion."
David Ramus, an arts and antiques auctioneer since the age of 13, is now, at 25, vice-president of the Trosby Galleries, a respected Atlanta-based firm owned by his family. His great-grandfather got into the business auctioning jewelry on the boardwalk at Atlantic City. David was born in Palm Beach, the original home of Trosby's, and grew up surrounded by Renoirs, Chippendales, English silver and one Japanese treasure he can't forget because he was caught dripping ice cream on it. "The auction gallery was my babysitter," he says. David made his first sale—an inlaid teakwood box—when he was 8. Though a veritable Marjoe of marketing, he apprenticed mostly behind the scenes loading trucks and hanging paintings. "I didn't start out as vice-president," he notes. David traveled the world "to lose my provincialism," and enrolled at the Université de Montpellier in France to study French art. After one semester his father's partner died, and David had to return to help with the business. He is now expert enough to work as a fine arts consultant and appraiser. But Trosby's is not too grand to auction even condominiums when a local developer is having problems. David's podium style is slow and precise. "Sometimes," he says, "you have to coax people along, but I always try to be dignified."