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    El DeBarge (Remember Him?) Heads to Rehab

     El DeBarge Larry Busacca/Getty Images for City of Hope

    The comeback trail up until now had been a smooth one for El DeBarge.

    The '80s popster, whose chart-topping career ("The Rhythm of the Night," "Who's Johnny") hit the skids after a crack conviction and two years in prison, announced today that he has checked into rehab.

    MORE: El DeBarge headed for De Brig

    "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 49-year-old DeBarge said. "I thank everyone in advance for their prayers and well wishes and hope that you will respect my privacy during this time."

    Here's hoping his "me time" gets him back on track.

    Before entering a drug-treatment facility for his unspecified addiction, the hitmaker had been making the promotional rounds for his comeback album, Second Chance. He also scored two Grammy nominations—for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song.

    DeBarge had been slated as an opening act for Mary J. Blige and planned to tour extensively on his own in 2011. Those commitments, along with the publicity appearances, have now been canceled.

    Get well, El.

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