Thursday 6/23/22 10am ET: Feature Artist: DeBarge

DeBarge was an American musical recording group composed of several members of the DeBarge family. In addition to various solo projects completed by members of the family, DeBarge was active between 1979 and 1989. The group originally consisted of El, Mark, Randy, and Bunny. James joined the group a year later for their second album. Bobby and Chico joined in 1987 and 1988 respectively, replacing Bunny and El.

DeBarge released six studio albums, four of them with Motown subsidiary Gordy Records. These albums included The DeBarges (1981), All This Love (1982), In a Special Way (1983), and Rhythm of the Night (1985). The latter became the group’s best-selling album and contained the single “Rhythm of the Night”, which hit No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it their highest charting single in America. In the mid-1980s, El and Bunny each went solo and DeBarge was subsequently released from its contract.

The remaining members signed with Stripe Horse Records, an independent label, in 1987, which released their final studio album, Bad Boys. The group continued to perform for an additional two years, with Chico DeBarge joining the group in 1988. Two members of the group, Bobby and Chico, were arrested for drug trafficking in 1989. Legal issues and personal problems, compounded with the changing musical tastes of the public, led to the group’s dispersion in 1989, 10 years after its inception.

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