Janet Jackson’s First Husband, James DeBarge: 5 Things To Know


Janet Jackson and James DeBarge were famously married in 1985, but their marriage was annulled.

In the Jackson family’s history, James DeBarge has been a contentious character. In the mid-1980s, the 58-year-old married Janet Jackson, 55. The couple’s relationship has been in the news for three decades, with speculations circulating that they have a secret kid together.

Before the upcoming Lifetime and A&E documentary on Janet Jackson’s life airs, learn more about the R&B singer here.

Janet Jackson was his ex-girlfriend

When he married Janet Jackson in 1984, when he was 21 and she was only 18, James made headlines. Before married, the pair dated for two years. Janet had just released her second solo album, Dream Street, the year before, following her self-titled debut from 1982. Janet’s marriage was seen as a form of defiance against her dominating father, Joe Jackson when she was a teenager. Due to his alleged drug addiction, the relationship was ended in 1985.

Over the years, rumors have persisted that the couple had a hidden kid together, which James addressed in 2016 on the series Growing Up Hip-Hop. In a scene from the show, he tells his daughter, «I’m tired of the secrecy.» «I’m wary of people avoiding the truth and being cowards when it comes to it. And I felt it was important for me to speak up today because it is something that needs to be addressed.»

Janet Jackson is seen with ex-husband James DeBarge.

He is a performer

Aside from his marriage to Janet, James is best known for his musical career, which included singing with his famous family as the DeBarge group. El, Mark, Randy, and Bunny, as well as Bobby and Chico at various times, were the initial members of the band. «Rhythm of the Night,» «Who’s Holding Donna Now,» «All This Love,» and «Love Me in a Special Way» were all significant songs for DeBarge in the mid-80s.

He is a native of Detroit

Robert DeBarge Sr. and Etterlene Abney DeBarge welcomed their seventh child, James, on August 22, 1963. He was born and reared in Detroit, Michigan, before moving to California to pursue his career.

Janet Jackson performs at the Glastonbury Festival in 2019.

He has a family

James is the father of three children, including Kristina, who was born in March 1990 to Christine Mcdonald and is currently 31 years old. He also has a son, James, Jr., and a daughter, Tori, who were both born in 1998. Kristina also competed in the American Jr. series, following in her father’s footsteps.

He was incarcerated

In 2012, James was arrested on allegations of drug possession and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was imprisoned for three years before being freed in 2015.