Etterlene DeBarge, the esteemed matriarch of the renowned DeBarge family and an accomplished American gospel singer, passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 88. The news of her departure was confirmed by her daughter, Etterlene ‘Bunny’ DeBarge, who announced the sad news on Instagram, stating, “Momma has gone to see her king!” It was revealed that Etterlene DeBarge passed away at 7:40 PT on Friday in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.

Who was Etterlene DeBarge?

Etterlene DeBarge (x/@latrimardicion)

Born Etterlene Abney on October 13, 1935, in Michigan, Etterlene DeBarge married army veteran Robert DeBarge in 1953, with whom she had 10 children. Seven of their children went on to form the iconic Motown band DeBarge, which gained fame and recognition throughout its active years from 1979 to 1989. Despite the eventual disbandment of the group as members pursued solo careers, Etterlene remained deeply involved in the music industry. She released two gospel albums, Back on Track in 1991 and A City Called Heaven in 2005, with the assistance of her children.

Also read | Who is Dmitry Markov? Russia’s renowned photographer dies at 41

In addition to her musical pursuits, Etterlene DeBarge was also an author, famously chronicling her marriage to Robert DeBarge and the rise of their children to fame in her book Other Side of the Pain. Following her divorce from Robert in 1974, she remarried George Rodriguez in 1980, with whom she spent the remainder of her life.

Also read | Lefty Driesell: Cause of death, age, net worth, Maryland basketball, career and more

Etterlene DeBarge’s passing was mourned by her surviving family members, including her husband George, eight children, and numerous grandchildren. Her impact on the music industry and her legacy as the matriarch of the DeBarge family will continue to resonate through her children’s work and contributions to the field.

While the cause of Etterlene DeBarge’s death has not been disclosed, it is understood that she had been battling illness and dementia in recent times. Despite her health struggles, her enduring spirit and lasting influence on gospel music and the DeBarge family will be remembered fondly by fans and loved ones alike.