El DeBarge? As in, that El DeBarge? “Rhythm of the Night” El DeBarge?
Indeed: Pushing 50, with the triple stigma of addiction, prison time (a two-year sentence for crack possession) and the reputation as one of the great coulda-woulda-shoulda figures of R&B (plug his name into Google, and one of the first results is the Yahoo Answers entry “What happened ot El DeBarge?”), Eldra Patrick DeBarge is nonetheless angling hard for a comeback—and he just might pull it off.
First, there was his impressive performance at the BET Awards. Next, Mary J. Blige tapped him to be a special guest on her Music Saved My Life tour (which alights at Radio City next Monday and Tuesday). In November (if the release date—which has moved around already—holds) he’ll release his first album in 16 years, winkingly titled Second Chances, and including collabs with the likes of 50 Cent. And tonight, you can hear him preview some of the material in the cozy setting of S.O.B.’s, in that incredible whispery falsetto that’s remained pretty much intact.
El DeBarge, October 6 at 9PM, S.O.B.’s; $34.