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El DeBarge
Birth name Eldra Patrick DeBarge[1]
Born June 4, 1961 (1961-06-04) (age 48)
Detroit, Michigan
Origin Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Genres R&B, soul
Occupations Singer-songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, piano/keyboards
Years active 1979–present
Associated acts DeBarge, Switch, Chico DeBarge

Eldra Patrick "El" DeBarge [2] (born June 4, 1961) is an American R&B and soul falsetto singer and was the focal point and lead singer of the family group DeBarge throughout the early to mid-1980s. As a solo artist, he is best known for the hits "Who's Johnny" and "Love Always" and for his collaborations with Tone Loc, Quincy Jones, Fourplay and DJ Quik.



Born in Detroit, Michigan, Eldra Patrick DeBarge was born the fifth of eight brothers and sixth of ten DeBarge family members. In 1972, El's mother Etterlene moved her children from Detroit to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Like his siblings, El participated in the local church choir and was labeled a child prodigy thanks to his skills as a vocalist and a keyboardist and years of private study with music educator Ricky Callier. El was a natural in the role of lead singer for the group DeBarge. In 1982, DeBarge found success with their acclaimed album, All This Love, which gave DeBarge major chart success with singles "Stop! Don't Tease Me," the perennial "I Like It," and the title track, with El as producer, writer and lead singer. In 1983, DeBarge’s album, titled In a Special Way garnered yet more success for the group, again with El producing, writing and singing lead in most of the songs, including the hit singles "Time Will Reveal" and "Love Me in a Special Way."

In 1985, El Debarge realized major success with the release of his pop- hit "Rhythm of the Night" accompanied by a video with his siblings featured in Berry Gordy’s film, The Last Dragon. El has also produced such hits as, "The Heart Is Not So Smart," "Who's Holding Donna Now," "You Wear It Well", and the silky smooth ballad “Love Always” written and produced by the successful writing duet Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager. The massively successful title track, Rhythm of the Night soared to the top of the charts both in the U.S., and in the U.K. El also performed his hit song, You Wear it well in an episode of Miami Vice (Season 2) called "Bought and Paid" for and appeared as himself in an episode of the television series The Facts of Life. After the commercial pop success of "Rhythm of the Night," El left the group in 1986 to begin a solo career. The same year, El released his self-titled debut solo album. "Who's Johnny" was the first single released from that album and was featured in the movie Short Circuit. The single was a major success, peaking at #3 in the U.S. The music video for the song featured El DeBarge with co actors, Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, and robot Johnny 5 (the movies main characters).

The year 1989 marked El's final Motown release date. El then signed with Warner Brothers and released his third solo album In The Storm which featured duets with DeBarge’s prodigy Chante Moore (Latimore) and collaborations with musical peers including Fourplay, Patti LaBelle and Maurice White of Earth Wind and Fire. Critics and fans still today call this album a masterpiece. El teamed up with Quincy Jones to create the successful collaboration, "The Secret Garden," a single from 1990 which also featured Barry White, Al B. Sure!, and James Ingram on vocals. Two years later, in 1994, El collaborated with hit producer Babyface and released his fourth and most recent to date solo album Heart, Mind and Soul. "Can't Get Enough", "Slide," and a duet with Babyface, "Where Is My Love," were singles. In 1998, El was featured with DJ Quik on hit single "Hand In Hand."

In 2008, Eldra was featured on RZA's album Digi Snacks on the track "Up Again". "Rhythm of the Night" was the theme song of Lowes Motor Speedway during the 2008 NASCAR season. Eldra will be performing at the conga room in Los Angeles, and in Washinton DC

Personal life

He has reconciled with his wife Monique DeBarge of thirteen years with whom he shares four children. He has 6 other children from his previous marriages and relationships.




  • 1986: "Who's Johnny" (US pop #3; US R&B #1; US Dance #10,US AC #18)
  • 1986: "Love Always" (US pop #43; US R&B #7; US AC #8)
  • 1986: "Someone" (US pop #70; US R&B #32; US AC #20)
  • 1987: "Starlight Express" (US AC #30)
  • 1989: "Somebody Loves You" (US R&B #24)
  • 1989: "Real Love" (US R&B #8; US Dance #14)
  • 1991: "All Through the Night" (w/Tone Loc) (US R&B #18)
  • 1992: "You Know What I Like" (US R&B #14)
  • 1992: "My Heart Belongs To You" (US R&B #64)
  • 1992: "Another Chance" (US R&B #62)
  • 1994: "Where is My Love" (US R&B #19)
  • 1994: "Can't Get Enough" (US R&B #21)
  • 1994: "Slide" (US R&B #36)
  • 1995: "Where You Are" (US R&B #86);lddmsl;vmdsl;


See also

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