A new TV One movie detailing the peril-filled life of late R&B singer Bobby DeBarge, the eldest sibling of Motown’s renowned pop group DeBarge, airs in June in honor of Black Music Month.
“The Bobby DeBarge Story” explores the highs and lows of the singer’s life in the limelight, including his rise to stardom, coping with memories of a dysfunctional upbringing, romantic relationships, and his his struggles with substance abuse, incarceration and failing health.
The role of DeBarge, who was also the lead singer for the 1970s group Switch, will be played by Roshon Fegan (“Shake It Up,” “Greenleaf”). Tyra Ferrell (“Boyz n the Hood,” “White Men Can’t Jump”) stars as Etterlene DeBarge, Blue Kimble (“Media”) as Tommy DeBarge and Adrian Marcel as James DeBarge. Big Boi (Outkast) portrays legendary music mogul Berry Gordy.
DeBarge died in August 1995 at age 39 of AIDS complications.
“It was truly amazing watching the characters unfold in front of my eyes and the incredible acting that was bestowed upon this project,” Russ Parr, the film’s director, said in a statement. “I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by the performances that they see.”