*The last we heard from El DeBarge, he was in jail for possession of a controlled substance in Oct. 2008. And that charge came just weeks after he was jailed on two warrants stemming from several other offenses from the previous year, including vandalism, drugs and domestic violence.
But those days are in the past, the singer told EURweb’s Lee Bailey.
“Things are fine right now. My challenges were basically a drug addiction that sat me down for a minute and made me stop writing, and made me not participate in my own self,” said the famous falsetto. “I got tired of that, I got tired of being stuck on stupid. I went through something, I learned from it and I got a great story to tell. It’s a testimony, it’s not misery anymore.”
These days, El DeBarge is in the studio working on a new album, and he’s featured in the current “soundtrack week” (Feb. 8-12) of TV One’s “Way Black When” programming for Black History Month.
“It’s basically paying respect and homage to as many of the black films, black producers and black recording artists as we possibly can of the 80s,” El explained of the TV One specials. “I realized a lot of success in the 80s, so naturally I had some things I want to say about it.”
Under host Chris “Kid” Reid (“House Party”), TV One’s soundtrack week honors the movie albums that had an impact on African American pop culture. DeBarge is joined by musical artists Brian McKnight and Kurtis Blow, along with producer/director Warrington Hudlin, actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and actor Glynn Turman.
“We just talked about ‘Cooley High’ being one of the films,” said DeBarge. “We talked about ‘Boys N the Hood,’ [my song] ‘Rhythm of the Night’ being in ‘The Last Dragon,’ this song I did in the movie ‘Short Circuit’ called ‘Who’s Johnny,’ you know, that’s pretty much it.”
As for his other 80s pastime of drug abuse, El says he got a lot of prodding from his family and fans in recent years to finally get his act together.
“People were reaching out to me. And really, actually it was God. It was a spiritual intervention that took place in me,” he said. “I just didn’t want to do it anymore and I had to just lay back, go somewhere, take a vacation and just chill and just get my thoughts together – get my will power together because that’s what was missing and that’s where I’m at right now.”