The New Edition and Bobby Brown stories were two biopics that had everyone talking when they released. The history of some of our favorite musical artists and watching how some of our beloved classics are made along with the struggles and controversies of our favorite artists can be some of the most engaging scenes on TV. TV One is set to deliver another story that is going to bring a new perspective on an artist everyone knows and love.
Bobby Debarge from “The Bobby Debarge Story” is the next artist whose story is going to be shared on televisions across the country
“I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by the performances that they see, said Russ Parr, the film’s director. “Although this is a tragic story, I believe it's told with dignity and respect to the legacy of Bobby DeBarge."
“The Bobby Debarge Story” premieres 7 p.m. Saturday, June 29 on TV One. It stars actor and musician Roshan Fegan as Bobby Debarge.
"It was an honor to tell this musical legend's life story,” said Fegan. Other actors featured in the biopic are Blue Kimble, Tyra Ferrell and Big Boi from Outkast. Bobby Debarge is a member of the musical group, Debarge, an R&B force in the 1980s. Debarge is responsible for songs “Rhythm of the Night” and “All of This Love.” The musical group was composed of siblings El, Bunny, James, Mark and Randy Debarge.
Bobby didn't join the crew until the late ‘80s. Previously he and his brother, Tommy Debarge, were a part of a band called Switch in the late 1970s. Bobby had an amazing musical career. Unfortunately, his history is also tainted with substance abuse and crimes of drug trafficking. Bobby contracted HIV/AIDS and died on Aug. 16, 1995.
The biopic will share Bobby’s rise to fame, how he coped with memories of his dysfunctional childhood along with his failing health. Besides shedding light on the artist’s story, Parr wants to use the biopic to open the discussion of communication about touch topics such as mental health within Black families.
“Mental health is a serious thing in our community. Back then it wasn't a thing for boys or men to express how you feel,” said Parr. “I want this movie to open up a dialogue between family members to immediately talk to each other when something is wrong. If Bobby would have spoken up, maybe he could have been saved.”
Bobby Debarge was sentenced to five years in prison in 1988. Before he went in, he shared with his family that he had contracted HIV/AIDS. Bobby was only 39 when he died.
Teri Debarge, Bobby Debarge’s widow, is the executive producer of the biopic. She provided the material Parr used to create the film. According to Parr, there was a lot of material they didn't use in the planning stage of the movie. Parr also explained that he went to her for guidance to tell the story.
“You’re going to have people who have their side of the story. Teri was there to account for it all,” Parr said. “Some may not be happy with what comes out in this film.”