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 February 17, 2024

DeBarge Family Matriarch Etterlene Found Dead

The music world mourns the loss of a true family matriarch, Etterlene DeBarge, who has left an indelible mark on the industry.

Etterlene DeBarge, the celebrated gospel singer and beacon of the famed DeBarge family, has passed away at 88 due to a lengthy illness and battle with dementia, leaving behind a monumental legacy.

A Life Full of Music and Love

The story of Etterlene DeBarge's impactful life began in 1952 when she met Robert DeBarge, a meeting that would lead to a union producing ten children, and, eventually, the formation of the DeBarge group. Marrying in 1953, Etterlene's journey was marked by her deep involvement in her children's budding music careers, nurturing their talents from a very young age, as TMZ explained.

The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of the DeBarge family as a household name in the music industry. Despite the group's disbandment in 1989, the legacy of their Motown-infused hits lived on, thanks to Etterlene's foundational influence.

However, life was not without its challenges. Etterlene and Robert's marriage ended in 1974, a pivotal moment that Etterlene later chronicled in her book, Other Side of the Pain, offering a raw glimpse into her life and the complexities of fame on family dynamics.

End of an Era

On a quiet Friday morning at Berkley Post-Acute in Woodland Hills, Etterlene DeBarge's vibrant life came to a peaceful end.

Her daughter, Etterlene "Bunny" DeBarge, shared this news on social media, noting her mother's peaceful passing in her sleep. It was a solemn conclusion to a life that had been filled with both monumental highs and profound lows.

Though the exact cause of death was not disclosed, it was known that Etterlene had been facing health challenges, including a battle with dementia. Her family's announcement highlighted the dignity with which she faced these difficulties, ensuring her memory was preserved with grace.

Survived by her second husband George Rodriguez, whom she married in 1980, eight of her children, and numerous grandchildren,

Etterlene's legacy extends far beyond her immediate family. Her influence can be felt in the enduring popularity of the DeBarge family's music and in the values she instilled in her progeny.

Lessons to Learn

1. Cherish your loved ones while they are here. Etterlene's story reminds us of the impermanence of life and the importance of expressing love and appreciation to those we hold dear.

2. Legacy amounts to more than just fame. Through her resilience, love for music, and dedication to her family, Etterlene demonstrated that one's true legacy is the impact they have on others, not just their achievements.

3. Seek support when facing illness. While Etterlene's dignity in her battle with dementia is commendable, it's crucial to remember the importance of seeking help and support when dealing with a long illness, both for the patient and the caregivers. No matter the precautions we take, adversity can strike anyone, and it’s essential to approach such situations with empathy and understanding, never casting blame on those affected.

Why This Story Matters

The departure of Etterlene DeBarge marks the end of a chapter for her famous family and music lovers worldwide. It underscores the inevitable passage of time and the transitions all families must face.

Her story, one of love, struggle, and eventual peace, resonates with anyone who understands the complexities of family dynamics against the backdrop of public attention. It's a reminder of the universal themes of loss, legacy, and the enduring power of love.

In conclusion, the life of Etterlene DeBarge was marked by incredible highs and heartfelt lows, encapsulated by her serene passing.

From her early days meeting Robert DeBarge, through the rise and dissolution of the legendary DeBarge group, to her final days battling illness, her story is one of resilience, love, and the immutable bond of family.

Etterlene's legacy, carried on by her surviving family and the timeless music of DeBarge, continues to inspire and influence generations.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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