Kristinia DeBarge knew she wanted to be a singer at the age of three. She grew up listening to strong female vocalists like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, and Alicia Keys. She credits DeBarge, Mariah Carey, Prince and Aaliyah as her musical inspiration. As a young girl, DeBarge had big dreams of being a singer but kept it from her father until he took her into a recording studio at age twelve. They worked until 4 A.M. recording a duet, which made him realize she was serious about beginning a singing career. At thirteen, she appeared on American Juniors, a younger version of the wildly successful American Idol. She made it to the Top 20. At fourteen, she met Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and spent the next four years developing her voice and writing skills. At nineteen, DeBarge signed a record deal with Sodapop/Island Def Jam.
Her debut album, "Exposed" was released on July 28, 2009. The album debuted at number 23 on Billboard's top 200. Her first single, "Goodbye" debuted at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, and later reached number 15 on the charts. And in Canada, it reached number 15 on the Canadian Hot 100. The single sold over 2 million copies reaching Platinum status and later reaching Gold twice. The music video received an MTV VMA nomination.
DeBarge's second single, "Sabotage," was sent to radio a week before the release of "Exposed." The remix of "Future Love" (featuring Pitbull) was released as the third single. This remixed version was released on November 2, 2009 in the UK and November 10, 2009 in the US. "Exposed" received positive reviews from major critical websites, such as Blues & Soul, People Magazine, and AllMusic. DeBarge opened up for pop singer Britney Spears, during the 2009 world tour, "The Circus Starring: Britney Spears" and received an NAACP Image Award nomination for "Outstanding Artist." In November 2009, The Wet Seal, Inc., a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced a partnership with her.
She independently released a single entitled "Cry Wolf." The music video was featured on VEVO. She was also featured on Redrama's single, "Let Go," which reached number 3 on the charts.
DeBarge made her acting debut in Christmas in Compton (2012), starring Keith David,Omar Gooding,Eric Roberts and Sheryl Lee Ralph. DeBarge played the female lead (Anastasia) in a film written and directed by Nick Cannon entitled School Dance (2014). DeBarge was cast as the female lead (Melody) in The Mint (2015).
In early 2016, DeBarge starred in Growing up Hip Hop, a reality TV series on the WE network, with Boogie Dash, Egypt Criss, TJ Mizell, Angela Simmons and Romeo Miller; and its second season is currently airing.
Kristinia is currently collaborating with some of the industry's top producers and songwriters in anticipation of releasing her third studio album.