R&B Crooner, songwriter and actor Eric Benét has successfully released five albums and is releasing his sixth album entitled The One on June 5th, 2012. Very appropriately named, Benét’s new album The One marks a moment of positive transition in his life and lyrically speaks to the many new beginnings developing in his career and family. The One will also be the first album released on Benét’s newly formed record label Jordan House Records, which he created in partnership with EMI.
“Real Love” (available on iTunes) is the first single off Benét’s new album The One and was the #1 added song to Urban AC when shipped to radio in October 2011 and is currently #5 on the Urban AC chart and climbing. This new single is a taste of only one-half of what to expect on Benét’s new album, which he describes as a “very contemporary approach to old-school songwriting integrity” with Benet’s signature mid-70s soul groove, but modernized with a bit of funk, hip-hop swagger and feel. On the new album, there are a variety of instruments from strings to horns plus featured artists, a confirmed duet with his first daughter India and even a lullaby at the end of the album dedicated to his new baby girl Lucia Bella.
Eric Benét was also nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award for “Best Traditional R&B Performance” for his single “Sometimes I Cry”. CeeLo Green’s “Fool For You” feat Melanie Fiona won the category. Additionally, Benét was nominated for a 2011 Soul Train Award for “Best Male R&B/Soul Artist” and also performed during the award show’s tribute to Earth, Wind & Fire, which aired November 27th on BET.
In addition to a new album, single & record label, Eric Benét also has a new marriage and baby girl. Eric married Manuela Testolini on July 31st, 2011 in Newport Beach, CA and the newlyweds had their first baby together on December 20th, 2011, naming her Lucia Bella and weighing 6 lbs 5 oz. Previously, Eric was married to actress Halle Berry from 2001 – 2005 and has one daughter named India from a prior relationship with his longtime girlfriend Tami Marie Stauff, who tragically died in a car accident leaving Eric as a single father to their daughter atage 1. India is now 21 years old, attending USC and very musically gifted. Testolini also familiar with being in a Hollywood marriage was married to Prince prior to Benét.
Eric Benét grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1970s and was the youngest of five musically talented siblings. He started out singing with a group called Gerard in the late 1980s; then Benét, his sister Lisa, and his cousin George Nash Jr. formed a band called Benét and in 1992, they were signed to EMI and released a self-titled album. Two years later, Eric Benét broke onto the music scene with his solo career and signed with Warner Bros. Records, releasing his debut solo album, True to Myself in 1996. His sophomore album, A Day in the Life, was released in 1999 and featured his smash hit “Spend My Life With You (featuring Tamia)”, which rose to #1 on the US Billboard R&B charts (for 3 weeks), was certified gold, and nominated for a 2000 Grammy Award for “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group”. The album also won a Soul Train Music Award for “Best R&B/Soul Album, Male”.
In 2001, Benét decided to leave Warner Bros. and signed with the Reprise-distributed label, Friday Records, where he released his next studio album, Hurricane on June 21, 2005, which featured “I Wanna Be Loved” that reached #2 on the Urban Adult Contemporary chart. His fourth album Love & Life was released on September 9, 2008, debuting at #11 on Billboard 200 and #2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album featured fan favorite “Chocolate Legs” and his hit single “You’re The Only One“, which and was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award for “Best R&B Male Performance”. In November 2010, Eric released his fifth album Lost in Time featuring duets with Faith Evans, Chrisette Michelle, Ledisi, and Eddie Levert of The O’Jays; plus his single “Sometimes I Cry“, which reached # 1 on the Hot Adult R&B Songs Chart.
Benét has also been active as an actor and most recently starred in his first lead role in the feature film “Trinity Goodheart” also starring Erica Gluck, which premiered at the American Black Film Festival on July 9th, 2011. Additionally, Eric had a recurring role on the television program For Your Love (1998–2002) and made his film debut alongside Mariah Carey in Glitter (2001)