Singer El DeBarge has canceled his long-awaited comeback tour just days before it was to begin and immediately entered a rehab program for substance abuse problems.
The 49-year-old R&B star has been on the comeback trail the past few months, releasing his fan favorite, “Second Chance” (his first album in 16 years) last November.
[WATCH: “Second Chance” ~ El Debarge ~ VIDEO]
El started his comeback with a performance at the 2010 Essence Festival, followed by a show-stopping performance at last year’s BET Awards. He also scored two Grammy nominations—for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.
Debarge was scheduled to perform on “The Intimacy Tour” alongside Grammy-nominated singer KEM, he also had secured a gig as the opening act for Mary J. Blige and planned to tour extensively on his own in 2011.
Now those tours… and his comeback, are on an “indefinite” hold.
Debarge has been open about his struggles with drug abuse – particularly crack and heroin and had even been featured in StraightFromTheA.com’s mugshot mania collection prior to cleaning up his act.
[READ: MUGSHOT MANIA: El “Long Hair Don’t Care” Debarge + Flashback Footage]
In a press release, Debarge states,
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.
I thank everyone in advance for their prayers and well wishes and hope that you will respect my privacy during this time.
I’m praying for El and hopes he gets it all back on track soon.