Bunny DeBarge Short Bio
Etterlene DeBarge, best known as Bunny DeBarge, was born on 15 March 1955 in Detroit, Michigan USA, under the sign of Pisces. She is best known as the only female sibling of the DeBarge family as well as the only female singer in their group, and the lead vocalist of “A Dream”, featured on the album “In a Special Way”. Her other major achievements include co-writing “I Like It” and “Time Will Heal”.
Bunny is the eldest child of the ten kids of Etterlene and Robert DeBarge Sr. She spent her formative years partly in Detroit, and then moved to Grand Rapids alongside her family at the age of 16.
However, things weren’t so rosy for her, and she was a victim of sexual abuse – later on, she made a shocking revelation – that she had been physically and sexually assaulted by her father, whom the family cut ties with. She also spoke about the high school bullying she and her brothers faced for being multiracial – her father was Caucasian of French ancestry, and her mother was African-American. Reportedly, she has been interested in music from an early age and sang in a church choir. She also taught herself how to write and compose, which later on became crucial for her career.
She has kept the identity of both her husbands a secret. Bunny first married in 1972, having dropped out of high school. She and her husband had two children together, but their relationship fell though and ended with divorce. She changed her last name both times she got married – she has been signed as Etterlene Jordan and Etterlene Jordan-Knight or Etterlene DeBarge Knight. In addition to being the mother of two, Etterlene is a grandmother of 15. She maintains a very low-profile now, and resides in Michigan after years spent in California.
DeBarge is a former drug addict, starting during her teenage years, when she began smoking marijuana and using prescription medication. Things got out of hand when singer began consuming cocaine, which resulted in her going into rehab several times. In 2008, she finally spoke openly about everything she has dealt with – the abuse and drug consumption. Her autobiography “The Kept Ones” thus attracted attention from the media, and following its release, she was a guest star in an episode of “Unsung”, in which accompanied by brothers Randy and James, she recalled all good and bad times of her career.
In 2011, they made another appearance – in “Lifechangers”. This time, her daughter Janae was featured as well. As our sources stated, Bunny is living a clean life now, having finished the rehabilitation program in West Hollywood, and is focusing on her career.
Bunny decided to embark on singing on a more serious level, after her brothers Bobby and Tommy achieved success with their band Stardom. She teamed-up with her brothers Randy, El and Mark and form the group named DeBarges. They signed a deal with Motown, whose CEO, Berry Gordy was astonished with their music skills.
In 1991, she was a co-producer of “DeBarges”, and sang “Share My World”, co-written by her brother El. In 1982, they released the album entitled “All This Love”, which featured songs such as “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Stop! Don’t Tease Me” and “I Like It”. The album received a generally positive response from critics and fans, peaking at number five on Adult Contemporary charts. Having a lot on their plate, the group released yet another album in the following year, “In a Special Way”, consisting of nine songs – “Love Me In a Special Way”, “Time Will Reveal” and “Stay With Me”.
The album was described as “innocent, which was rare in the ‘80s music” as well as “oddly appealing”. In 1985, DeBarge released “Rhythm of the Night” and in 1991, “Back on Track”.
Departure from the Group
Allegedly, having been pressured to start a solo career by her brothers, Bunny left the group and in 1987 released her solo album “In Love”, which sadly didn’t live up to expectations. It featured only one single “Save the Best for Me”, and produced no major hits. After that, and at the peak of her drug addiction, the singer decided to take a break, with the exception of gospel music.
Book Sequel and Movie
In March 2019, Bunny started a GoFundMe campaign, as a way to get enough money for her second book to be released. In a short message for her fans, the singer stated that her brother was making a biopic filled with “made-up stories”. “I want to get the real story out there! I need help in getting the story formatted the right way!” she said, adding that she is trying to finish “The Kept Ones” sequel, and stated that she wants to get it done so that it could be filmed. Her brother’s movie was nonetheless released in June 2019, receiving mediocre reviews. In “The Bobby DeBarge Story”, Bunny was portrayed by Marie Burke.
Bunny’s music has been featured on several soundtracks – “Soul Food”, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”, and “American Idol”. She worked as a composer of two songs sung by other artists – “Ne-Yo Feat. Peedi Peedi: Stay” and “Blackstreet: Don’t Leave Me”. Being in the entertainment world, the singer has also appeared as a guest in several talk shows – “American Bandstand”, “Motown Returns to the Apollo” and “E! True Hollywood Story”.