Tommy DeBarge, one of the co-founders of R&B band Switch and a member of the DeBarge family, has passed away at 64 years old. His younger brother, El DeBarge, released an emotional statement.
El DeBarge, 60, said in a statement on Instagram, “And so it is that on October 21, 2021, I had to say farewell to one of the greatest bass guitarists this world has ever known, and I am grieved as I confirm to you that my brother, Thomas Keith DeBarge, passed away.”
He continued, “My dear brother Tommy finally made his transition after a lengthy illness. Tommy was a loving, gentle soul and a beloved son, husband, father, grandfather and one of the best brothers anyone could ever ask for. His legacy will live on in the hearts of all those who love him so much and in the beautiful music he created with our brother Bobby, as well as that of his musical peers in the famous R&B group Switch! Both my brothers Bobby and Tommy DeBarge are together now safely in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ, though our hearts are still heavy as it will require some time to deal with the fact that he is gone and just missing him so much.”
He also added, “I want to say on behalf of the whole DeBarge family we really appreciate all your prayers especially for our mother, Etterlene DeBarge, whose faith in God's heavenly promises is unwavering.”
According to TMZ, DeBarge died Thursday (October 21) after being hospitalized for kidney failure. He also contracted COVID earlier this year.
Tommy DeBarge rose to fame as a part of Switch during the mid-to-late 1970s. “There’ll Never Be,” “Love Over & Over Again,” and “I Call Your Name” were among the hits the group recorded.
Tommy, along with his brother Bobby, were founding members of the group, which was composed of their siblings.
Tommy and Bobby left Switch to mentor their younger brothers and sister in DeBarge, another group, until Bobby died of AIDS-related complications in 1995.
Rest in peace, Tommy DeBarge.