During Kanye West's appearance on Saturday's (Feb. 13) episode of "Saturday Night Live," a familiar face appeared during the performance of his new track "Highlights." No, this isn't a reference to Young Thug, Kelly Price, or even The-Dream. Yes, this is all about El DeBarge.
You may be scratching your head. Who's El DeBarge? Don't worry, here's a quick refresher.
El DeBarge -- yes, his first name is El -- is one of the most famous names that came out of the DeBarge family. Starting with the group "Switch," a handful of DeBarge family members soon branched out with a group in the early eighties simply known as, "DeBarge."
From 1982 to 1985, the R&B group enjoyed commercial success with hits like “Rhythm of the Night" and “Who’s Holding Donna Now?”
El DeBarge began pursuing his own solo career and things were looking pretty nice for the singer who's self-titled debut album had the popular track, "Who's Johnny" hitting it big with the 1986 theatrical release of "Short Circuit."
However, his success seemed short-lived as his following album, "Gemini," flopped and MoTown soon dropped him from the label. That didn't stop the singer from releasing music but it did feel like the trends had passed him by and in the process, DeBarge began a long fight with drug addiction.
When digging into his family's history, drug addiction is a commonality amidst his siblings. It's probably safe to say the dabbling in heroine and cocaine, as well as the bits done in prison, stemmed from the abusive childhood the singer experienced.
Previously stating the molestation and abuse they suffered, the struggles by the DeBarges are all too real. Aside from El's addiction issues, his younger brother James -- who enjoyed a brief marriage to Janet Jackson in 1984 -- went to prison on drug charges.
El's other brother Chico -- who achieved a decent amount of fame in 1986 with the hit "Talk to Me" -- served a six year sentence for drug trafficking. With dark times such as these, salvation comes in different forms. Since being released from jail, Chico had some success with 1998's "Long Time No See."
This brings us back to El. The most famous member of the DeBarge family has dealt with multiple arrests on cocaine possession. That being said, though, it looks like the singer may have turned a corner.
After attempting to overcome a 25-year battle with addiction, DeBarge is touring again. In 2010, the singer released "Second Chance," an album that received many positive reviews and a Grammy nomination.
Will his appearance alongside Kanye West serve as a further sign that El DeBarge is making a comeback? Only time will tell. Until then, let's relive the glory of those days of Johnny Number 5.