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The DeBarges

"Time Will Reveal" came over the Muzak while I was shopping today...

What a drama filled family full of drugs and abuse. They never stopped doing coke since the 80s.

I understand that they became popular for a time. Did a lot of people assume some of the brothers were gay back then? El was pretty fem. Bobby was rumored to have had a live in boyfriend for some time.

James is currently locked up in Los Angeles with Dr. Conrad Murray. Michael Jackson talked James out of killing himself more than once. I wonder what Janet thinks about that!

by Tootie Ramseyreply 4207/09/2013

Didn't one of them die of AIDS complications, allegedly contracted through drug use?

by Tootie Ramseyreply 102/22/2013

I loved some of their music back in the day. I was young, poor and innocent...sigh.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 202/22/2013

Hey, what about us?

by Tootie Ramseyreply 302/22/2013

Two of the Sylvers are in prison as well. You need to watch a program called 'Unsung' which dishes the dirt about the r&b acts of the past. DeBarge was ravaged by incest instigated by their father. Eventually the kids began having sex with one another, they had no sane boundaries which is why the entire group became drug dependent. If there was ever an act that should have been spared fame and fortune it's DeBarge and I say that as a fan.

The Sylvers mother really held that group together. Sadly, the creative force for the group has died. Little Foster is one of the kids in prison, but you have to remember there were about ten kids in the band.

'Unsung' hasn't touched the Jets. Perhaps they're too dull. They were very religious and have since insinuated themselves into the political society of Tonga.

Five Star would be a blast, but they may not have had any stateside success, despite being on Soul Train on a regular basis.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 402/22/2013

But El DeBarge in particular was hugely talented and those songs still sound great. And the sister (was it Bunny? I forget her name) had a fantastic voice.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 502/22/2013

I love El and Bobby DeBarge - two of the greatest falsetto voices ever in R&B. I was a huge fan of Switch and DeBarge in the late 70's and 80's. I was watching 30 Rock about a month ago and Tina Fey mentioned DeBarge and I thought that was so odd because to me they were kind of an obscure but beloved soul group and they weren't all that big on the pop side, but apparently she knew them. It's too bad they got into drugs because they were pretty great.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 602/22/2013

The only DeBarge member Unsung talked to was Bunny and she's rigidly religious these days.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 702/22/2013

That's not true, r7. All but El spoke to Unsung.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 802/22/2013

El DeBarge is now 51 years old and the father of at least 12 children.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 902/22/2013

Really? I just remember Bunny and some assorted relatives. If you say so I'm sure you're right.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1002/22/2013

DeBarge, DeBarge!

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1102/22/2013

r7 I thought James and Randy did Unsung too, or they were just using old footage. To hear them talk about their childhoods... it was like they were still shell-shocked as middle aged adults.

James said that Bobby despised him as a child and abused him to the point where James thought Bobby was trying to kill him. Crazy. I wonder if James was still afraid of him as adult, but Bobby was the one that got their big break.

r1 Bobby got AIDS, allegedly through heroin use.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1202/22/2013

James, Bunny and Randy were all on Dr. Drew's talk show a couple of times and they were in bad shape, all still addicted to drugs. James and Randy looked a mess. Dr. Drew offered to put them in rehab and I think they all accepted but only Bunny stayed for the program and the brothers dropped out. They never mentioned El - I think there's bad blood.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1302/22/2013

Incest? While I know their music, I know nothing of their family.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1402/22/2013

El DeBarge was a handsome black man in the 80s and now he's somehow transformed into a light skinned Latino.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1502/23/2013

We love you El Debarge, we love Teen Scene magazine, we love you both and we also love to sing

To sum it all up we love El DeBarge, Teen Scene and singing.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1602/23/2013

I never heard that they started being sexual with each other, the siblings, as a result of the sexual abuse by father DeBarge. Bobby and Bunny were abused by their dad the most. El and Bobby might have had incestuous incidents with each other when they were kids, but I doubt it. James was the one that Bobby hated.

Their mom Etterlene felt like she would be a burden to anyone with so many kids so she stayed with their horrible dad and continued to put up with him.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1702/23/2013


That is not El. They all are half white so they were all light/Hispanic looking.

Also the abuse was only from the father as I recall. There may have been some bullying later but nothing sexual.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1802/23/2013

You lying liar who lies.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 1902/23/2013

Chico is the most attractive DeBarge brother to me. An extremely handsome man!

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2002/23/2013

And us too,R3?

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2102/23/2013

was watching 30 Rock about a month ago and Tina Fey mentioned DeBarge and I thought that was so odd because to me they were kind of an obscure but beloved soul group and they weren't all that big on the pop side, but apparently she knew them. It's too bad they got into drugs because they were pretty great. "

Buffy the Vampire Slayer referenced them in the premier episode of the series. When SMG calls a dated vampire "Debarge" because of his wide shoulder rolled up sleeved blazer.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2202/23/2013

On the night before she died, Whitney was overwhelmed with emotion upon meeting up El for the first time in several years. Such a genuine, touching moment especially since they didn't know the camera was on them.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2302/24/2013

r23 Im glad someone got that on video. A very genuine moment and Im sure El was glad it happened.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2402/24/2013

El DeBarge was the poor man's Prince.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2502/24/2013

Since Unsung Bunny relapsed and recovered again. Here she is on Dr. Drew the second time looking much better than she did before

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2602/24/2013

DeBarge only had five Top Forty hits. Rhythym of the Night hit No. 3 in April of 1985, and spent 2 weeks there, making it their biggest hit. Later that year, Who's Holding Donna Now reached No. 6 for a week in August. Their other Top Forty hits were All This Time (peaked at No. 17), Time Will Reveal (peaked at No. 18), and I Like It (peaked at No. 31).

El DeBarge had a solo Top Forty hit with Who's Johnny, the theme to the movie Short Circuit. He reached No. 3 with that song in July, 1986.

The Jets were actually more successful, with five Top Ten hits. Crush On You and You Got It All both reached No. 3, in June of 1986 and March of 1987 respectively. Make It Real was a No. 4 hit in June of 1988, Rocket 2U peaked at No. 6 two months earlier, and Cross My Broken Heart reached No. 7 in August of 1987. The Jets had one other Top Forty hit, with I Do You topping out at No. 20 in December 1987.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2702/24/2013

Such a talented and tragic family. What's scary is the DeBarge's actually make the Jacksons seem sane a functional.

I dont know what to make of Etterlene/Mama DeBarge...She seems to be sort of off. I can't really describe it, but she seems to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket, but putting up with years of abuse from her husband probably fucked her up in the head.

El DeBarge has something like 14 kids scattered throughout the country.

One of James' daughters, Kristinia is attempting to have a singing career. I wonder if that's the secret daughter he and Janet "allegedly" have. Kidding...Anyhow, I wish her well, but I really don't think that career choice is the best idea considering her family's history.

And yes R20, I agree, Chico is one sexy man...I spent many days in my teenage years jacking off to that fine yella man...

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2802/24/2013

I didn't even know El and Whitney knew each other, that was sweet.

I liked this song by Chico Debarge.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 2902/24/2013

R28, were you also attracted to Prince, why or why not?

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3002/24/2013

R30 - Actually, no. Prince was too "pretty" and diminutive for my tastes. If that's what you like, more power to ya...get your life!

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3102/24/2013

r27 El's music was sampled heavily by Puff Daddy & Badboy in the 90s. Biggie's "One More Chance" was a huge hit and is now a classic rap song.

r28 Etterlene was probably afraid, she had a strange life. She was in a biracial relationship in the Midwest in the 50s so its not like she had a lot of places to turn. Here is a good interview with her. Robert DeBarge was crazy, he didnt let her use birth control and he was jealous of his own son.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3202/24/2013

Who could forget Chico's '80s persona? Before he turned into a thug in the '90s, he was a big-haired, half-top-wearing pop divo.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3302/24/2013

El Debarge singing "You Wear It Well" with the Facts of Life gals (and an embarrassed-looking George Clooney)...

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3402/24/2013

A platinum-haired Chico sings to Punky and her friends, while the other DeBarges look on...

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3502/24/2013

Who was that one hot male Jet? I think he was the main singer in "Rocket 2 U"... I bet he had a musky, beautiful ass.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3602/24/2013

El with three of his children.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3702/24/2013

lol r35. Chico was platinum blonde first Chris Brown!

Here is Mama DeBarge and El being interviewed by a woman in a bad wig

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3802/24/2013

Loved the elder DeBarges in Switch - I Call Your Name.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 3902/24/2013

The hottest male Jet was Eugene Wolfgramm, who later split with the group to form the duo Boys Club (going under the name Gene Hunt). I still remember their big hit fondly--"I Remember Holding You".

by Tootie Ramseyreply 4002/24/2013

R38, the "bad wig" woman is R&B/pop singer Deniece Williams.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 4102/24/2013

This talented family is also 1 of the MOST messed up. They grew up abused by their white father, and felt like outcasts given they're obviously mixed-looking. Once they got to hollywood, just about all of them developed drug problems. Only a few of them have beaten it. El, James and Chico still struggle with drugs and jail time. Bunny is a minister.

by Tootie Ramseyreply 4207/09/2013
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