The sibling Motown group DeBarge rose to prominence in the early ’80s with an infectious mix of pop and R&B. They enjoyed nearly a decade of success before their career came to an abrupt end.
• Inspired by their brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge—members of the Gordy Records band Switch—Bunny, Randy, Marty, and El DeBarge formed The DeBarges in 1978.
• Championed by Switch, the siblings signed to Gordy Records (a subsidiary of Motown), through which they released their eponymous debut album in 1981.
• After adding their brother James and shortening their name to DeBarge, the quintet delivered the 1982 album All This Love, which hit No. 24 on the US charts.
• DeBarge’s platinum-certified Rhythm of the Night arrived in 1985. Its title track was an international sensation, peaking at No. 3 in the US and reaching the Top 10 in at least seven other countries.
• Following Bunny and El’s departure from the group, the remaining DeBarges enlisted their brother Bobby to record the 1987 Bad Boys album.
• In 1988, Bobby and Chico were incarcerated for drug trafficking, which dealt the final blow to DeBarge.
• Bobby DeBarge died from AIDS-related complications in 1995. He was 39.
ORIGINGrand Rapids, MI