El Debarge Checks Into Rehabilitation Center

El DeBarge

R&B artist El Debarge has put his career comeback on hold by checking himself into a rehabilitation center. A press release states that the 49-year-old singer will use the rehab stint to address years of substance abuse.

“I hate to disappoint my fans but it is necessary for me to take the time to work on me so that I may continue to share my music and my story with everyone,” the singer has said in a statement. “I thank everyone in advance for their prayers and well wishes and hope that you will respect my privacy during this time.”

After El Debarge made a showstopping appearance at the BET Awards last June performing 80s hits like “Rhythm of the Night” and “All This Love,” the singer released his fifth album, “Second Chance,” on Geffen Records last November following a 16-year recording absence. The singer has had his share of legal run-ins over the past decades, including a two-year prison term following a 2008 arrest for drug possession.

El Debarge was set to kick off a spring U.S. tour with Kem and Ledisi on Thursday (Feb. 17) in Houston, Tex., but has postponed all scheduled performances. Musiq Soulchild has been confirmed as the singer’s replacement on the tour.