IN THE SPOTLIGHT | ERIC BENET

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 mothers would sing around the house, even singing the duties to the kids. 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.

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.

 

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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