Sunday night’s 2010 BET Awards had no shortage of surprising, thrilling and emotional moments. There was Chris Brown’s stirring tribute to Michael Jackson (which saw the embattled singer deftly pull off some of the late Jackson’s most classic dance moves before his vocal performance was undone by tears), an incredible salute to Prince (featuring the likes of Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle and Janelle Monae) and savage performances by both Eminem (with B.o.B) and Drake . But perhaps the most pleasantly surprising moment of the evening came when El DeBarge graced the stage for a run through some of his biggest hits.
The R&B legend — whose signature falsetto buoyed such smashes as “Who’s Johnny” and “Stop! Don’t Tease Me” — returned to the public eye after a long absence to tear through a medley of massive tunes from his back catalog (mostly with his family band DeBarge). His mini-concert included “All This Love” (one of the group’s earliest hits, later sampled on Da Brat’s “Ghetto Love”), “Time Will Reveal” (another big hit later covered by the likes of Blackstreet, Boyz II Men and Janelle Monae) and the classic “Rhythm of the Night,” which was not only a giant hit for the group (it peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the R&B chart) but was also the first big smash for legendary songwriter Diane Warren (also responsible for such hits as Toni Braxton’s “Un-Break My Heart” and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”).
2010 could end up being the year of El DeBarge, as the singer is set to release his first album of new material since 1994 this fall with the aptly-titled Second Chance. In the interim, he has clearly made an impact on the hip-hop community, as he has collaborated with the likes of DJ Quik and the RZA on various projects while getting his comeback together.
What did you think of El DeBarge’s BET performance? Sound off in the comments below!