DeBarge was a soul and R&B band formed in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1980 by members of the DeBarge family. They are best-known for their 1985 hit single “Rhythm of the Night”. During the ‘70s, members of the DeBarge family performed in different bands, the most notable being the band Switch, which featured Tommy and Bobby Debarge. In 1979, Mark (‘Marty’), William (‘Randy’), and Eldra (‘El’) formed the band SMASH. They were mentored by Tommy, Bobby, and other members of Switch. Their sister Etterlene (‘Bunny’) joined El, Mark, and Randy in 1980 and they called themselves The DeBarges. Since Switch was signed to Motown, the label’s founder Berry Gordy gave El and the family an audition, signing them to the Gordy/Motown label shortly thereafter. The DeBarge family then assisted the band Switch in the studio before releasing their debut album, The DeBarges, in 1981. They added brother James to the line-up and changed their name to Debarge. Their second album, All This Love, was released in 1982. The album included the hit singles “I Like It” and the title track, which reached Number 1 on Billboards Adult Contemporary chart. They released In A Special Way, their third album, which featured the hit singles “Time Will Reveal” and “Love Me in a Special Way”. The band was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight when James married Janet Jackson – a union that was annulled a month later. At the end of 1984, the band recorded the song “Rhythm of the Night” for The Last Dragon soundtrack. It became a huge hit and ushered in the success of their fourth album, Rhythm of the Night. The album was a huge success and catapulted the band to stardom. The singles “Who’s Holding Donna Now” and “You Wear it Well” were also hits. However, not all was well behind the scenes with DeBarge. The band members were no longer able to function as a group because of varying degrees of drug addiction amongst the members. Gordy/Motown dropped DeBarge and signed El, Bunny, and youngest DeBarge family member Chico to solo deals. The label then released the Greatest Hits collection in 1986. Since 1987, various DeBarge family members have reunited over the years, but their releases together and apart have never scaled the heights – commercially or artistically – of their earlier releases.

Related Artists

Stations Featuring DeBarge

Please enable Javascript to view this page competely.