In Memoriam: Tommy DeBarge

Tommy DeBarge

Sad news to report today: Tommy DeBarge of the classic R&B band Switch has passed away after battling kidney and liver disease. He was 64 years old.

“Tommy has gained his wings,” his sister Etterlene wrote on Facebook.

DeBarge formed Switch in 1976 with his brother Bobby Debarge as well as Gregory Williams, Phillip Ingram, Eddie Fluellen, and Jody Sims. The group caught the attention of Jermaine Jackson and Hazel Gordy Jackson, soon signing to Motown Records. Their self-titled debut came out in 1978 and scored a hit with “There’ll Never Be,” featuring a solid foundation from DeBarge’s bass.

The bassist stayed with the band until 1981 after recording five albums. He would leave with his brother Bobby to mentor their younger siblings and create the band, DeBarge.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Tommy DeBarge.

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