my brothers and sisters.” He died in 2009, no doubt with a guilty conscience.
“Drugs happened,” said Etterlene DeBarge. “When El got into drugs it just paralyzed him. He just couldn’t deal with all the people in the music industry. He couldn’t deal with their fakeness and people ripping him off. Motown had taken all of his publishing and they’re still making money from those songs.”
Bunny DeBarge, the only female member of DeBarge, once stated bluntly, “I don’t hate my father, but he has a way of blocking things out of his mind.” (Bunny has reportedly kicked her drug habit and attributes being able to do so to her relationship with God.)
“Maintaining my sobriety is really not a problem because I didn’t want to be on drugs anyway,” El says. “I picked up a crack pipe when I was 25 years old because I wanted to try it, and it took me 22 years to un-try it. But it’s a wrap now. I lost all that time with a pipe in my mouth. Now it’s a mike to my mouth.”