Eric Benet Biography
Review The Artist (12)
Born and reared in Milwaukee as Eric Benet Jordan, Benet is the youngest of five from a very musical household. His father, a police detective, loved classical music. Whereas, his mother would sing around the house, even singing the duties to the kids. In addition, Eric's older siblings gave him a big dose of Stevie Wonder, who is one of his top musical influences. Eric was also influenced by Al Green, Sly Stone, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Kahn, Earth, Wind and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, the Beatles, Queen and gospel music among others. He started showcasing his musical talent in church in the gospel choir. Eventually, he expanded to school plays and musicals. Eric soon realized at a young age that he wanted to pursue music professionally.
Eric's first professional break came when he joined a local group, Gerard, in the late 80's. They toured various night clubs and small venues covering top 40 tunes. It was during this time that Eric learned through experience. He experimented and performed all types of music from rock to pop to soul to hip hop.
Later Eric, his cousin, George Nash Jr., and his sister, Lisa, formed the group Benet. They put together a demo tape that found its way in the hands of Allison Ball-Gabriel, a music executive. That led to Benet getting a music deal with EMI Records. This was the start of a roller coaster ride for Eric. Their self-entitled CD was released in '92. Unfortunately, the label was going through corporate red tape and the CD was not properly promoted. Consequently, the sales were lackluster. In addition, some radio stations wouldn't play the singles released, "Only Want To Be With You" and "Rainy Days And Mondays" because they didn't fit with the stations' formats. Benet was soon dropped from their label.
A short time later, Eric experienced the high of being a father for the first time with his girlfriend, Tami, when their daughter, India, was born. However, only about 15 months later, Tami was killed in a car accident. Eric had become a single parent. It was a very scary time for him. Even though he still wanted to pursue his dream of performing, he had to provide for his daughter. So Eric worked at UPS for a while. In the meantime, Jeff Lorber, who was one of the producers on the Benet CD, kept Eric close to the business. Jeff set up various guest starring jazz vehicles for Eric to showcase his vocal talent. During this time, Eric sang on CD's by Jeff, Marion Meadows, Eric Marienthal, and Michael Franks among others.
Through these difficult times, Eric kept a journal of his thoughts and experiences. For a while he was afraid to trust himself with the type of music he wanted to do. But luckily one day, he realized that he had to be true to himself.
He used his experiences and turned them into songs.
Meanwhile, Allison Ball-Gabriel, who had signed Benet to EMI, was an executive at Warner Brothers Records (WBR). So Eric decided to send her some demos. Allison immediately told Eric to keep doing what he was doing. He was then signed to the label. Eric again worked with cousin, Nash Jr., and brought longtime friend, Demonte Posey, on board in a studio in Milwaukee. WBR allowed Eric to have full creative control, which is rare for a new artist. The fruit of their labor, "True To Myself" was released in '96. Although it was critically praised, the album was not properly promoted. Therefore, "True To Myself" never attained the sales that it deserved.
So when it was time for Eric to go back in the studio for his sophomore effort, he realized that the pressure was on to increase sales. He didn't want to abandon his style and alienate his fan base. But he knew that he would need more "radio friendly" songs to be successful. He again worked with Nash Jr. and Posey, along with others in the studio. The result was "A Day In The Life," which was released in April of '99. This time Eric also incorporated some duets on the CD. They include collaborations with Faith Evans, Tamia, Roy Ayers, and Me'Shell Ndegeocello. As with the first album, most of the songs are based on Eric's personal experiences except the two cover songs and "Loving Your Best Friend."
Warner Brothers Records has been promoting Eric considerably more this time around and it is paying off. "A Day In The Life" is doing well and was certified gold. The first single, "Georgy Porgy", received considerable airplay and did well on the R&B charts. The second single, "Spend My Life With You", went to number one on the R&B charts, was certified gold, was nominated for a Grammy Award, won an NAACP Award for Outstanding Song and has become a wedding favorite.
During his "downtime", Eric spent time in the studio, writing and producing tracks for Earth, Wind and Fire's upcoming 30th anniversary CD. He also went on tour with Brian McKnight and made numerous television appearances. Plus he recently stepped into the acting arena. Eric had a recurring role on WB's "For Your Love" sitcom as Jamal. Eric's love life is on the upswing as well. He is engaged to actress, Halle Berry. They plan to marry sometime in 2000.
Eric's future goals include possibly having his own record label in which he can help artists like himself who are slightly against the norm and to continue making great music for us. In the meantime, Eric is very happy with his number one job of being a father to India, who's now eight years old.
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soul train deja vu snippet | Reviewer: shuku | 9/5/14
Eric you are exquisite......your singing and that on the awards was the best version I have ever heard!!!!!! You n Ruben Studdard took the show!!!! So looking forward to your next concert!!!!!
Thank you | Reviewer: Phoeby | 4/23/13
As I sat listening to your music, I heard my soul crying out for help. Deseperate to find joy in my heart again. Your music reminds me of the meaning of true love. Life is so precious. Why love without expectations? Hope is an expectation, and it never disappoints.I feel renewed, for Love is still glorious. Thank you for bringing out the woman in me again. I forgot the beauty of the spirit of love.
Bonafide fan of your music,
The Whole-Hearted Soul of A Man: Eric Benet Jordan | Reviewer: Amazin' | 8/2/12
Who really knows the heart and soul of a man, until he sings from the abyss of his being and from the bone. Eric has this undescribable voice range that expresses his world in every day life he journeys. The brotha' is BAD! And for those who don't know, just listen to the variety of sounds and expressions of songs he's written and sung of his lifes journey past n'present. When you find a singer like Benet, you keep him close. Listen to his words in his songs; you will learn humanity, love, peace, romance, and yes some heartbreak and let-downs, but you will learn because we all go through some obstacles and we resolve and conquer by learning from each other. We are musically inclined and we feel the beat and message it sends. Benet has that gift. I know it. I sing... Love you Benet!
Lyrics for the times | Reviewer: Earnest Harrison | 6/15/12
Pretty Baby, Sometimes I Cry, I Wanted to Be Loved, When You Think of Me, Spend My Life, Never Want to Live without You, Lost In Time are song title but listen to the lyrics. They tell the story of love, loss, hurting and sometimes a little revenge. Eric lyrics are powerful and show that brothers do have feelings and get hurt too when a relationship goes bad, that all brothers are not dogs and a lot of us want commitment.
Soul brother with captivating and velvetly voice | Reviewer: Danny Bee | 1/19/12
Since I discover Eric, I could never let go of his music. I bought all of his albums, and I am enjoying them everytime I play them. His voice is appealing to ears, his style is excellent and unique. The dude can sing. I like him a lot. I will like to see him performing in South Africa onel day. Keep up good work.
Truly a Gifted Man | Reviewer: Black Beauty | 12/7/10
I've never really listened to Eric Benet music wholeheartedly until I seen him perform at Sister of Circles in NY 10/30/10. From the time the man opened his mouth I was captivated by his voice, his presence, his style and grace. When he sang Chocolate Legs & Sometimes I Cry I knew from right there I was offically in love with ERIC BENET. I went out and bought Love & Life Album immediately and I was at Target doors when it opened 11/30/10 to buy Lost In Time. I haven't felt this good about music in a long time. His music just makes you want to make love to that special person in your life. Eric Benet has taken my breath away with his latest album. May God continue to bless you and yours.
something's wrong | Reviewer: Tera | 12/5/10
Eric BENET! You are a truly gifted brotha.! Please give the track 11 on your latest CD " Something's Wrong" the props it deserves. I have played this songs approximately 75 times today. This is the COLDEST piece of music I've heard from you thus far. I have several of your tracks in my library. Please doing what you do.!
Loved by All | Reviewer: Yolanda Banks | 11/2/09
Eric your music has a healing power and helps people believe in love. Your song "Don't let go" helped me see, I had to fight for my marriage even if my spouse didn't fight with me. your music is so captivating all my kids ages:11,8 and 3 know the lyrics. At least once a day we all sing our favorite song (of course)" Don't let go"! Thank you for making music my children can appreciate and also learn a little something about love and life. "love, patience and time" is a song that humbles us everytime we hear it and helps us appreciate all we have in life and never to forget those who have it worse than we do. Please keep up the good music and Thank you for the sexy, classy and energectic concert you gave in Orlando on 10/10/09 at the house of Blues.
The Beauty of Eric Benet | Reviewer: Spiritual Thang | 4/13/09
I have been an admirer of Eric Benet since his first solo album "True to Myself". This man is a phenomenal human being;he gives so much of himself to his fans and music. His songs have so much 'depth' you can feel the energy that he releases into each lyric. It's a blessing that he has not changed his style of music to apease his record label, marketing, etc. He has been "true to himself", lol-that says alot about his intregity. I'm honored to be one of his fans...Eric, please don't stop the music. :o)
don't be so judgemental | Reviewer: tajma lowery | 12/16/07
I think he is a wonderful singer he touches your heart and really makes you think about being in love. Also being a single parent that involves tradey and you have to help that child through it for the rest of their lives. I love a lot of his songs, feminity, I wanna be loved, Just my way, the one he did with Roy Ayers, and I can go on and on. Just take your time in finding true love it is going to be hard because you are looking for the one you lost so quickly but remember some people are only in are life for a season and in that season she gave you the greatest gift in the world your daughter India. Waiting to hear some new songs soon.
Crack of the broken heart | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/28/07
indeed this song is amazing it heals me and make me realise that love does exist.Harry Berry must find the way to forgive Eric,because this guy is in pain and also he regret himself for what he did to Harry.From Baxolele Zono Cape Town, Delft
A Very Talented Brother | Reviewer: Donna | 1/13/06
I have followed Eric's career. I remember seeing him on a talk how years ago. His voice captivated me and I knew then that this man would be making great music for a long time. He has a heavenly voice. His new CD Hurricane is DA BOMB! Of course, my favorite song on it is I Wanna Be Loved. This song speaks to my very soul. Everytime I hear it I have to stop what I'm doing and listen very closely to it. Thank you Eric and keep up the good work. You are a fantastic artist and trust me....your love life will rise above what you have already accomplished.
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