Teri DeBarge (born Teri Lee Gayle in 1970) is an American producer who is best known as the executive producer of The Bobby DeBarge Story (2019). She rose to fame as the widowed wife of the late Motown R&B singer Bobby DeBarge.
Bobby DeBarge, born Robert Louis DeBarge II on March 5, 1956, was the lead singer of the Motown R&B group Switch. He rose to fame for his falsetto vocals and achieved a measure of musical greatness before passing away on August 16, 1995, from HIV/AIDS-related complications. This piece focuses on Teri DeBarge, DeBarge’s widow, and what she has been up to since his death decades ago.
Teri DeBarge Biography
Teri Lee Gayle was born Teri Lee Gayle in 1970 before she became Teri DeBarge. Teri rose to prominence as a result of her marriage to the late R&B singer Bobby DeBarge, and she has remained out of the spotlight since his death several years ago. As a result, little is known about her childhood and family history.
To begin with, her exact birth date and month are unknown, and aside from the well-established fact that she was born in the United States, the precise city of her birth in the country is unknown. Her birth status allows her to identify as an American citizen, whereas her ethnic identity is more ambiguous. Teri DeBarge, as previously stated, has not revealed much about her family’s history, leading to the inevitable conclusion that the pieces of information regarding her parents’ identities and what they did for a living are not available in any public domain. Furthermore, without a clear picture of Teri’s birth family life, it is impossible to determine whether she had other siblings or was an only child.
Teri DeBarge’s formal educational background is another aspect of her childhood that most people are unaware of. There is no documentation of the institutions where she received her primary formal education. Teri DeBarge, on the other hand, dropped out of school after marrying Bobby DeBarge, according to several credible sources. There is a chance that she improved her academic credentials after her husband died, but there is no way to know for sure at this time.
Teri DeBarge Married Life
Teri DeBarge and Robert Louis ‘Bobby’ DeBarge married on December 10, 1990. Teri and Bobby met and began dating in 1985, and their wedding took place five years later. She was reportedly 15 years old when she first met Bobby. Furthermore, Teri met her late husband through his ex-wife, Monique DeBarge, according to the dominant story.
Monique was Teri’s cousin, and she was the one who allegedly introduced Teri to Bobby in 1985. Bobby fell in love with Teri, who was 15 at the time, and soon put the moves on her. His efforts at the start of a relationship with a teenage Teri took some time, but they were eventually rewarded.
The finer details of the wedding event, such as the venue and location, guests, and the couple’s attire, are not made public. Teri DeBarge and Bobby DeBarge were married for less than five years before his death in August 1995 from HIV/AIDS complications.
Teri DeBarge’s Husband’s Death
Teri DeBarge’s late husband died on August 16, 1995, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of HIV/AIDS complications. He was 39 years old at the time. When a husband or wife contracts this deadly virus, he or she frequently infects their partner. Teri, fortunately, was not affected because she did not contract the virus from her late husband.
When the question of how Teri’s late husband, Bobby, became infected with the disease that eventually led to his premature death arose, many theories were advanced. One of those theories was that he was bisexual and contracted the virus through sexual relations with men. However, nothing in this regard has ever been proven.
The most prevalent, and most likely true, theory revolves around his drug addiction and habits. Bobby DeBarge, despite his musical genius, never seemed to figure out his personal life. Many people close to him said he picked up the bad drug habit from his abusive father. He began with heroin and progressed to harder drugs such as cocaine.
He battled the addiction for years, only to relapse after a few positive steps. Bobby needed a syringe to administer the heroin dose, and the consensus is that one of those syringes was infected with the virus, and he used it without realizing the consequences.
Teri DeBarge And Her Son
Teri managed to have two sons for Bobby before his untimely death despite their relatively short marriage. The exact dates of either son’s birth are unknown at this time, but they must have occurred between 1991 and 1995. Teri’s first son was named Christian DeBarge, and his younger son was named after his father, Robert Louis ‘Bobby’ DeBarge III. Teri DeBarge is an actress.
Christian DeBarge is an anime illustrator and the proud father of one daughter with an unidentified Asian woman. Teri’s youngest son has not only taken on his father’s name but also his musical legacy. Bobby III, in fact, has a remarkable falsetto, a singing ability that made his father famous.
Teri DeBarge: Where Is She Now?
Teri DeBarge went off the grid after her husband died, presumably to rebuild her life and focus on raising her two sons. She returned briefly to star as herself in Unsung (2008), a documentary series that focused on the lives of many of the forgotten but talented ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s R&B, Soul, and Gospel singers.
That feature piece included and briefly explored Teri’s late husband, Bobby’s, life. Teri probably reasoned that being a part of that series gave her the idea for an entire production about her late husband because who better to tell Bobby DeBarge’s story than a woman who was married to him for some time?
It took nine years, beginning in 2008, for her idea to become a reality with the release of The Bobby DeBarge Story in 2019. Teri made her debut as an executive producer in the production, which focused on the life of the iconic Bobby DeBarge, including his musical genius, struggles with drug addiction, HIV, and death.
Teri’s first, and so far only, foray into production. Her net worth is estimated to be around $5 million, a portion of which she earned from telling her husband’s story on tape.