TV One has begun production on their original biopic, ‘The Bobby DeBarge Story’ and aside from being full of 1970’s drama, it’s full of a bunch of recognizable names.
The film, which is currently shooting in Atlanta, will star Shake It Up star Roshon Fegan. You may have also seen the 27-year-old actor in Greenleaf, playing Gospel rapping bad boy, Isaiah Hambrick. Singer Adrian Marcel will play James DeBarge, Big Boi has joined the cast as music mogul and entertainment industry heavyweight Berry Gordy and R&B singer Lloyd appears as Switch member Gregory Williams. Actress Tyra Ferrell, known for her roles in Boyz In The Hood and White Men Can’t Jump will play Bobby’s mother, Etterlene DeBarge.
‘The Bobby DeBarge Story’ will explore the tumultuous life of Robert Louis “Bobby” DeBarge, Jr., the former lead singer of the 70’s R&B/Funk Band Switch and eldest sibling of the world-famous pop group DeBarge, whose struggle with drug addiction since his teen years plagued his life until his death in 1995, at age 39.
Bobby, born in 1956 Detroit to Etterlene and Army soldier Robert DeBarge, Sr, the latter whom he says was abusive, was introduced to heroin at the age of 15. Heroin would soon become his lifelong addiction. After his parents divorced and Etterlene and the children moved to Grand Rapids, Bobby, a talented musician and vocalist, began playing in local bands along with his younger brother Tommy. In 1976, Bobby DeBarge, along with Tommy DeBarge, Phillip Ingram, Jody Sims, Eddie Fluellen, MC Clark and Arnett Hayes, formed the group Switch and a year after signing to Motown, they dropped their debut album. It wasn’t until the late 80’s when Bobby joined his younger siblings’ group, DeBarge but his personal problems, drug use and legal troubles caused major issues both internally and within the group. After contracting HIV in the 1980s Bobby died of AIDS complications in 1995.
‘The Bobby DeBarge Story’ is produced for TV One by Swirl Films. Leading the production are Executive Producers, Eric Tomosunas and Teri DeBarge. The film is written by Norman Vance, Jr., directed by Russ Parr with casting provided by Leah Daniels Butler (Leah Daniels Butler Casting) and George Pierre (Pierre Casting). For TV One, Karen Peterkin and Jason Ryan are the Executive Producers in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President Original Programming and Production.
Look out for ‘The Bobby DeBarge Story’ when it comes to TV One in June!