James DeBarge

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James DeBarge
James Curtis DeBarge

(1963-08-22) August 22, 1963 (age 57)
Years active1982–present
(m. 1984; annulled 1985)
Children3, including Kristinia DeBarge
Parent(s)Robert DeBarge, Sr.
Etterlene DeBarge
Musical career
Associated acts

James Curtis DeBarge (born August 22, 1963) is an American R&B/soul singer. DeBarge was one of the members of the singing family vocal group DeBarge, who became famous with their mid-1980s songs "All This Love",[1] "Love Me in a Special Way", "Rhythm of the Night", and "Who's Holding Donna Now".

Early life and career[edit]

He is the seventh child born to Robert DeBarge Sr. and Etterlene Abney DeBarge. Like all of his siblings, he was born and raised on the East Side of Detroit, Michigan. The family later relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan. As of 2000, DeBarge has worked with DJ Quik on such tracks as "Tha Divorce Song", as well as "Get Nekkid" by slain rapper Mausberg. Also, in 2004, DeBarge made a song with the "Haitian Sensation" Won-G for a remix called "Nothing's Wrong", using the instrumental for the Quik/DeBarge track "Tha Divorce Song". Debarge also made a small guest appearance in 2006 on the album 818 Antics, by rapper J-Ro, who is associated with the rap group Tha Liks.


James along with brothers Mark, Randy, nephew Andrew (bass player), and an unknown niece are performing on tour as DeBarge. They were featured in a "Flashback to the '80s" concert at San Manuel Casino in Highland, California along with Atlantic Starr, The SOS Band, and the Mary Jane Girls. In El's absence, James handled lead vocals. DeBarge performed three encores despite not being the top billed act.

Personal life[edit]

DeBarge is also known for his 1984 marriage to pop singer Janet Jackson. The marriage was annulled in 1985 due to his cocaine addiction. During their marriage, they lived at the Jackson family home Hayvenhurst.[2] In 2016, DeBarge claimed on Growing Up Hip-Hop that he and Jackson have a daughter. [3] [4]

DeBarge has three children: daughter Kristinia (born March 8, 1990), son James, Jr. (born 1998), and his youngest, daughter Tori (born 2001). Kristinia appeared on 2003's American Idol spin-off American Juniors, and later received a recording contract through Island Def Jam Records.

DeBarge performed with brothers El and Mark during a gospel service in late 2007. DeBarge is a practicing Christian.

In 2012 DeBarge was imprisoned after being arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and drugs charges. He was released from prison three years later in 2015.[5]


with DeBarges


  1. ^ Prato, Greg. "Biography: DeBarge". AMG. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  2. ^ Gonzales, Michael A. (October 2007). "Broken Dream". Vibe.
  3. ^ Bueno, Antoinette (November 11, 2016). "Janet Jackson's Ex-Husband James DeBarge Claims the Two Have a Secret Daughter Together". Entertainment Tonight.
  4. ^ "Janet Jackson's Ex-Sister-in-Law Apologizes Over Singer's 'Secret Daughter' Controversy". Inside Edition. March 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "Dr. Conrad Murray - Jailmates with Janet Jackson's Ex ... Michael's Brother-in-Law". TMZ.com. 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2014-04-26.