Troubled R&B Crooner Chico DeBarge Arrested for Meth Possession

Chico DeBarge, 2013.
Photo: David Goldman (AP)

Chico DeBarge is in trouble with the law again: The DeBarge family’s younger famous brother has been arrested for drug possession.

According to TMZ, the No Guarantee singer/songwriter was arrested in Burbank, Calif. in a Walmart parking lot after cops saw him trying to unlock an SUV.

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Officers reportedly approached and searched the 53-year-old Detroit native, allegedly finding methamphetamine on his person.

After he was placed under arrest, cops said drug paraphernalia was also discovered inside of the vehicle, where he’d accidentally locked his keys.

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The former Kedar Entertainment crooner was booked at the Burbank City Jail before being released.

Formal charges are reportedly pending review by the City Attorney.

DeBarge, born John Arthur DeBarge, has had a dodgy past with law enforcement since rising to fame as a solo act in the mid-1980s on the heels of his siblings’ success with the groups Switch (There’ll Never Be) and DeBarge (The Rhythm of the Night).

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His breakout single, 1986's Talk To Me, charted on the Billboard 200.

In 1988, when he was 22, Chico and his brother Bobby DeBarge were convicted by a federal jury on charges they conspired to smuggle more than two pounds of cocaine to Michigan from Los Angeles.

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After serving his bid, he emerged on the music scene as a chiseled, bald R&B heartthrob with the release of his 1997 comeback opus, Long Time No See.

Iggin Me video still
Photo: via YouTube
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The 15-track collection featured the R&B radio staple Iggin’ Me, co-written with his brother El DeBarge.

Sought-after actress Nia Long—during the height of the Love Jones wave—appeared as his unfaithful love interest in the music video. (There’s actually a song on Long Time No See titled Love Jones.)

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“Debarge waxes autobiographical on the jail-release opening sequence and then proceeds onto the first thing on a freshly released inmate’s mind: Sex,” music critic Tony Green wrote for Jazz Times magazine in 1998

Another one of the Marvin Gaye-influenced opus’ tracks, the ballad No Guarantee (co-written with his brother James DeBarge) pairs Chico with R&B chart-topper Joe for the steamy remix.

In 2003, DeBarge was reportedly stabbed in a near-fatal dustup with an organized crime associate, while touring with Tyler Perry’s stage play Why Did I Get Married.

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In 2007, he was busted for drugs again in California and went to rehab.

DeBarge’s woes fall in line with a long family history of tragedy and tribulations.

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In a 2015 Michigan Chronicle exposé on the clan titled “The Continuous Rise and Fall of the DeBarge Family,” writer Daniela Washington wrote: “The amount of drug abuse and number of incarcerations within this family is mind blowing. There are seemingly as many police mugshots as there are Gold records.”

In 2017, the family’s matriarch Etterlene DeBarge was embroiled in a messy, tabloid-ready controversy surrounding a young woman named Tiffany Whyte, who claimed she was the secret child of Janet Jackson and her former husband James DeBarge.

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The siblings’ eldest sister and occasional family spokesperson Bunny DeBarge later publicly apologized for the publicity sham to Inside Edition.

On May 9, 2013, DeBarge performed at the funeral service of Chris Kelly of the rap duo Kris Kross in Atlanta.
Photo: David Goldman (AP)

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