Artist M.I.A : Chico DeBarge

Jonathan Arthur DeBarge, a singer-songwriter from Detroit, Michigan, better known as Chico DeBarge, the younger brother of the famed DeBarge family, has been keeping a low profile for some time. Chico stood out from the rest of his talented family because he was the only DeBarge that did not sing in falsetto; instead he croons in tenor. He heated the streets up with his own smooth, cool brand of R&B in the 90s. Chico has always done his own thing, and now we are wondering where he is? (You have to be smooth if your name is Chico.)

Chico began his music career in the mid 80s with MoTown by putting out his self-titled debut album, led by the hit single "Talk To Me". He later dropped a second LP entitled “Kiss Serious,” but his success was short lived when he caught a drug charge and then was sent to prison for drug trafficking. When he was released in the mid 90s, he came back to MoTown and rocked out with Kedar Massenburg. Kedar introduced him to a new sub-genre called neo-soul, which Chico fit so perfectly in.

He would later become independent and come out with an album which was rightfully entitled, “Free”. Chico, also that year, was shot outside of a South Philadelphia night club by an Italian Mafioso because of an altercation that started with a racial slur.

After “Free,” he released “Addiction” on July 14th, 2009 under the Kedar Entertainment Group. Chico’s life has been filled with ups and downs, but regardless, he has always provided us with music that felt good, sounded good and carried a deep message.

Watch our interview with Chico in 2009

Chico has admitted to being addicted to prescription drugs, heroin and cocaine. Addiction is an everyday struggle and the R&B community is with this artist, who has made his mark in the genre as a member of the DeBarge family, and also as an individual performer. We never know what someone is going through, but we can let them know that we are thinking about them, and they are in our prayers.

Shout out to Chico and we hope to hear something new form the smooth DeBarge soon.

Listen to one of Chico's last release "Love Still Good"