Sunday, October 10, 2010

El Debarge has a second chance

El DeBarge was more than a little nervous before his big comeback performance at the BET Awards this summer.
"It had been so long since I performed, and I knew coming out of prison, that wasn't the best reputation one could ask for, so I didn't know if people would still like me or if they were going to give me a second chance, but they did," DeBarge said.
That's for sure. The audience stood and cheered as he ran though solo hits and chart toppers from DeBarge the group.
He still had it. How did DeBarge keep it after 20 years away from the business?
"The abuse you can do to your whole body with drugs, it can be a terrible thing, so for me to have my chops and my three-octave vocal range, that's just the grace of God," DeBarge said. "He's all about love and second chances."
DeBarge, 49, was the frontman for the Detroit-area group DeBarge, which included four of his siblings, in the '80s.
DeBarge's hits -- including "I Like It," "All This Love," "Time Will Reveal," "Who's Holding Donna Now" and the Latin-tinged "Rhythm of the Night" -- framed the group's buoyant harmonies with melodic R&B riffs.
El DeBarge began his solo career in 1986, and his hits included "Who's Johnny" and "Love Always," but like several of his siblings, he fell into a downward spiral of drug abuse that culminated with a two-year prison term in 2008.
Once he was released, things fell quickly into place. DeBarge signed a deal with Interscope Records to record an album, "Second Chance."
Production luminaries such as Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, along with new blood like Mike City, the Avila Brothers and Michael Angelos, are onboard. The work is to be released later in the fall.
"The message I'm bringing to this album is a message of love and joy and second chances. I've been given a second chance to bring love to the world again," DeBarge said.