Tommy DeBarge, who was part of the 1970s musical group Switch, has died. He was 64.
DeBarge passed away on Thursday, Oct. 21 after battling liver and kidney failure, a family member told TMZ. The singer’s daughter, Marina DeBarge, said her father had also battled COVID-19 earlier this year.
The musician was remembered by his mother, Etterlene Debarge, who shared a picture of her son on Facebook holding a guitar and captioned the post, “Rest peacefully in Heaven, Dearest Thomas DeBarge.”
Related Story: Big Boi Tapped Into His Music Roots for Role in ‘The Bobby DeBarge Story’
Thomas “Tommy” DeBarge and his brother Bobby were part of the Motown R&B/Funk group Switch. Created by Greg Williams in the ’70s, the group was led by Bobby and included percussionist and keyboardist Phillip Ingram (younger brother of James Ingram), trombonist and classical pianist Eddie Fluellen, and vocalist Jody Sims. The band released the hits “There’ll Never Be,” “I Call Your Name,” “Best Beat in Town,” and “Love Over & Over Again.”
Tommy and Bobby later formed the group DeBarge with their siblings.
In 2012, Tommy DeBarge released an autobiography titled “There’ll Never Be: A Story of Forgiveness.” The book is described on Amazon as a story of “songwriter, singer, and eldest brother of the music industry’s DeBarge family. Thomas ‘Tommy’ DeBarge once saw the sky as the limit. As part of Motown’s hot funk and soul band era, Thomas felt life would be good for him there on out. A prideful turning away from God’s principles changed his dreams into a nightmare. Poverty and addiction were in the pot at the end of his rainbow.”