"Rhythm of the Night" singer El DeBarge is not dancing 'til the morning light, because he got busted in the middle of the night ... after a run-in with cops at a gas station.
Burbank PD tells TMZ ... officers slapped the handcuffs on El around 3:40 AM Sunday. They didn't pull him over, he was already stopped at a gas station when they noticed he had expired tags -- but when they approached, they say an expandable metal baton in plain sight in El's vehicle.
The baton is an illegal weapon, and that prompted cops to further search the vehicle ... which is when they allegedly found found pepper spray and suspected narcotics.
They also found out DeBarge didn't have a valid driver's license.
The singer was arrested and booked on several charges ... including possession of a leaded cane or baton, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Law enforcement tells us they believe the narcotic is heroin.
You'll recall, cops busted him for felony vandalism back in 2018 ... after he allegedly took a wrench to some guy's windshield during an argument.
As far this arrest goes, we're told DeBarge posted $25K bond and is due back in court in March.