El DeBarge From Wikipedia, W th he free encyyclopedia  Eldra Pa atrick "El" DeBarge D (born June 4, 4 1961) is aan American R&B/pop p singersongwritter, best kn nown as the e lead singe er of the R& &B/Soul fam mily group D DeBarge throughout the earrly to mid-1980s. As a solo s artist, he is best kknown for the hits "Wh ho's " and "Love e Always" and a for his collaboratio c ons with Tone Loc, Qu uincy Jones, Johnny" Fourplayy and DJ Quik. Q DeBarg ge is a three-time Gra mmy nominee. Early life e A native e of Detroit,, Michigan, El was the sixth of ten n children b born to Rob bert Louis DeBarge e, Sr. and Etterlene E (né ée Abney) DeBarge. D D DeBarge waas already ssinging in his local chu urch choir and a playing g piano as a child. Late er after his ffamily move ed to Grand d Rapids, he and the rest of his family bega an perform ing at theirr uncle's Pe entecostal church. When W El wa as thirteen, his parentss divorced after a difficult and sto ormy marria age. El is of African A Ame erican, English, French h-Canadian and Native e American n descent. Growing g up, he was closest to o eldest bro other Bobbyy and begaan imitating g his brothe er's vocal styyling. For seve eral years, El E spent tim me being in private stud dy with music educato or Ricky Calllier. By 1975,, El had beg gun to exprress a desirre to becom me a perforrmer. El beccame a fath her for the first time at fifteen. He would eventually fath her eleven cchildren. In 1977, he dropped d out of hig gh school an nd began performing p with his eld der brotherrs in clubs a and venues in i Michigan n. By 1979, Bernd Lichtters was ab ble to secure e a deal witth Source Recordss/MCA to re elease the Pall P Mall Grroove - Hott Ice album as SMASH for the USA/Canada marke et and movved El from Michigan tto Los Ange eles, to havve him, his brotherss Mark and Randy DeB Barge, in ad ddition to th heir cousin Andre Abn ney, Elliot Townsen nd and Stan nley Hood, to back up p the releas e as the SM MASH band d. Eldest sisster Bunny jo oined her brothers b in California C as well. In 19980, becausse of the su uccess of th heir brotherss Bobby and Tommy DeBarge D with the hit g group Switcch, he was a able to perfform live at the piano and singing in front of Motown CEO Berry Gordy, who immediately signed the group, then known as The DeBarges, to the label. Motown mentored them with members later working and contributing songwriting, arrangements and production to the recordings of Switch, including the 1980 albums, This Is My Dream and Reaching for Tomorrow. El DeBarge's first professional recording was as background vocalist to Switch's 1979 hit, "I Call Your Name.".He later helped to arrange music for several Switch songs including "Love Over and Over Again" and "My Friend in the Sky," which he, Bunny and Bobby wrote. This song would later be sampled by the likes of Queen Pen and Raheem DeVaughn. Music career In 1981, The DeBarges was released after the family had worked in the studio for a year recording it. The album was noted for most of its songs produced and written by all four family members including Bobby DeBarge, who helped end the album track, "Queen of My Heart" after El had led the song for most of its tenure. The following album, 1982's All This Love featured younger brother James and saw much success with the compositions, "I Like It" and the title track. El would remain the producer and arranger for all of the group's Motown albums. In 1983, DeBarge released In a Special Way, which spawned the hits "Time Will Reveal" and "Love Me in a Special Way" and in 1984, the band became a sensation while touring for Luther Vandross on the singer's Busy Body tour. Though the group enjoyed much success and appeared to be a family unit, there was growing tensions between El and his brothers mainly because of Motown's push to have El become the only noted star of the group, repeating a pattern that began with Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. By the end of the tour, El DeBarge was mainly called to handle the production of DeBarge's next album, Rhythm of the Night, without much help from his siblings. Rhythm of the Night became the group's best-selling album ever though some contended that El DeBarge was the only member present on the album with the exception of the title track, which became a top five hit in several countries including the US and UK becoming the group's and El's signature song. In late 1985, he appeared on The Facts of Life in the Season 7 episode, "Doo-Wah" as himself and performed his single "You Wear it Well" with Lisa Welchel, Kim Fields, Mindy Cohn and Nancy McKeon singing backup. In 1986, El DeBarge left the group and began his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album, which spawned the hits, "Who's Johnny" and "Love Always". Three years passed, however, until DeBarge released his second album, Gemini in 1989. The album was a failure and DeBarge's contract with Motown was terminated in 1990 and he signed with Warner Bros.. In the meantime, DeBarge was featured on the Quincy Jones single, "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)", alongside Al B. Sure!, James Ingram and Barry White, released in 1990. In 1992, DeBarge released his third album, the Maurice White-produced In The Storm, which featured the Chante Moore duet, "You Know What I Like", which was Moore's first professional recording. Critics noted the album for its Marvin Gaye-styled productions, with El DeBarge later admitting that Gaye was a huge influence on his musical style. He once commented that he had initially written "All This Love" as a song he imagined Gaye doing, even imitating Gaye's ad-libs during his I Want You era near the end. That same year, he had chart success on the R&B charts with a collaboration with Fourplay on their version of Gaye's "After the Dance". DeBarge's next album, 1994's Heart, Mind and Soul, was co-produced with Babyface, yielding modest charted singles such as "Slide" and "Where is My Love" (which featured Babyface on duet vocals). While DeBarge continued to collaborate on other artists' projects including brother Chico and rapper DJ Quik among others (the duo collaborated on Quik's hit "Hand In Hand"), he didn't release any more albums between 1994 and 2009. In 2010, he finally emerged from a sixteen-year delay with the appropriately titled Second Chance, released after a series of comeback performances and appearances including a well received performance at the 2010 BET Awards. The album yielded two singles, "Second Chance" and the Faith Evans duet "Lay With You", and later resulted in three Grammy Award nominations: Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. He remains the only member of the DeBarges to have Grammy nominations outside of the group and in the family altogether.
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