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Inside R&B Royalty Chico DeBarge's Troubled Past: Family Abuse, Countless Arrests & His Son's Tragic Murder

chico debarge
Source: MEGA

Jan. 26 2021, Published 4:57 p.m. ET

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Eighties R&B superstar Chico DeBarge was reportedly arrested earlier this month for drug possession and apparently tried to pass himself off as his brother at the time of the bust. 

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As OK! previously reported, DeBarge, 54, was stopped by the police on January 13 in Burbank, Calif., where he was allegedly driving at night without his headlights on, in a car with no license plates. When the cops pulled him over, they say DeBarge (who didn't have any ID on him) identified himself as "James" — as in his older brother, James DeBarge.

Chico was said to be cruising around with two female passengers. After a search reportedly revealed he had methamphetamines and heroin on him, police arrested the singer and claimed they discovered his true identity during the booking process. He was charged with drug possession, DUI and false impersonation and spent a few days behind bars before ponying up the cash for his bail on January 22.

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The DeBarge family, in particular Chico, has a rather tragic life story. Chico is the youngest brother of the wildly talented Motown family act, DeBarge. Growing up wasn’t easy for Chico. He has previously claimed that his father was a tyrant and that “he sexually molested a lot of my brothers and sisters," according to a Vibe magazine article. 

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Chico tried to put his past behind him and set out on his own. He maintained some success as a solo artist, best known for his 1986 hit single “Talk to Me.” However, as he was rising to the top, his demons got the best of him. In 1989, his struggles with drugs and run-ins with the law began. At 22-years-old he was charged for conspiring to bring 2.2 pounds of cocaine into Michigan from California. 

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"The Girl Next Door" singer was busted again in 2007 for drug possession; and in another wild case in 2019, he was caught trying to break into a car. Turns out the car was his own vehicle, and he was technically doing nothing wrong (he'd accidentally left his keys inside and was attempting to jimmy the lock), but police reportedly discovered meth on him while scoping out the scene. 

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Adding to his painful past, Chico’s son, Dontae DeBarge was murdered last year. According to reports, the 35-year-old was found laying on the street with multiple stab wounds. He was pronounced dead on the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department.  

Chico has released six solo albums in total, with his last being titled Addiction.

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