El DeBarge

El DeBarge
Miami Vice Character
El DeBarge ("Bought and Paid For")
Miami Vice Performer
June 4, 1961, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Eldra Patrick DeBarge (born June 4, 1961) is an American singer and songwriter, who appeared in the show Miami Vice as himself, performing the songs "You Wear It Well" and "Rhythm of the Night" in the dance club live in the episode "Bought and Paid For".


DeBarge was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the sixth of ten DeBarge family members. Five of the family members (El, Bunny, Mark, Randy, and James) formed the group DeBarge in the late 1970s, having success with the songs "All This Love", "I Like It", "Love Me In A Special Way", "Who's Holding Donna Now", and "Rhythm of the Night". Motown's (the group's record label) head Barry Gordy began releasing some songs with the name "DeBarge featuring El DeBarge", promoting El as the group's "leader". After their performance of "You Wear It Well" and "Rhythm..." on The Facts of Life, El Debarge left the group to begin a solo career. While the group faded into oblivion after El's departure, he had solo success with "Who's Johnny" and "Love Always", and an album in 1989, In The Storm which featured collaborations from Patti LaBelle and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. His last solo album came in 1994, Heart, Mind & Soul, produced by Babyface.

Personal life

DeBarge's brother Bobby died of AIDS (resulting from his heroin use) in 1995, and DeBarge was never the same after his death. His other brother James was briefly married to Janet Jackson in 1984 until the marriage was annulled in 1985. El has been married and divorced three times. He is the father of twelve children from his marriages and relationships. DeBarge also has a history of drug addiction, beginning when he became addicted to prescription medication for migraines. His addiction resulted in several brushes with the law over the years.

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