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Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 2:12 pm
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Singer/songwriter Eric Benet’s life has been filled with heartache and controversy for quite sometime.  From the unfortunate demise of the mother of his teenage daughter India, to the public spectacle that ensued with his marriage and divorce to actress Halle Berry.

      Recently EUR’s Lee Bailey had the chance to speak with Benet regarding his recent CD release “Love and Life.”  Benet says he’s pleased with the album and his current standing as well. 

      “I’m in a good place man, I’m in a good place,” said Benet. “The title is appropriate because I’m enjoying both of those things immensely right now.  It’s part maturity, part wisdom, part enjoying dancing and singing and loving the fruits of life.  That’s really where I’m at and it feels good.”

      Some believe that simply being a celebrity makes one’s existence charmed for the rest of his or her days, but Benet says he had to dig deep for this one. Of course the obvious question is whether or not Halle Berry provided any inspirational material for the release.

      “I think everything that happens in my life I drew from,” Benet continued.  “People like to always concentrate on what’s been made public. But my well of experiences is deep. I pull from everything that I write.  The whole Halle thing, that was a painful time and there were a lot of mistakes made on my part.   The good thing about making mistakes is, if you leave yourself open, you’re able to learn and grow from the process.   From that growth comes the wisdom that I was talking about before. My happy days are more frequent now and I’m able to maneuver through life better.  I’m happy because of my life lessons.” 

Eric & Halle

      Because of the artist’s prior marital situation, listeners may imagine the album’s lead single “You’re the Only One” is inspired by his world famous ex-wife, but Benet, again, stands vehemently against such an assumption.

      “Unfortunately people concentrate on what they know and unfortunately the representation that I have in the press is that experience,” Benet told our Lee Bailey of the lead single’s inspiration. 

      “Like I said before, my well of experiences is deep.  That song is not about Halle.  It started as a conversation between my partner Dimonte, my partner George Rass and myself. We were having a conversation about songs and about how, back in the day, songs were crafted with real arrangements and how the level of making music was on a whole nutha stratosphere compared to the way things are now.  Talking about groups like the O’Jays, The Stylistics, Blue Magic and that kind of stuff.  That conversation just turned into a good jam.”

      And that good jam and the album itself isn’t doing bad either.  It’s currently at number 11 on the Billboard 200 after being released on September 9.  But Benet isn’t limiting himself to CDs.  These days online video is all the rage.  Recently one surfaced in which he and his daughter India are performing a duet.  We asked the Warner Bros. Records artist how that came about.  

      “Well, that’s just a little snap shot of our life.  We’re always singing around the house.  We have an amazing relationship and an amazing bond between the two of us.  Just one day I was sitting at the computer and thought ‘How bout if I just make a little video clip of kinda the way we do.  And that’s it. She was doing her homework in the room and I kind of hollered, ‘Hey, lets do “You’re the only one!” We ran through it once and just hit it.”

Eric & daughter India

      For the commoner on the street, the term ‘single parent’ will bring up visions of struggle, but Mr. Benet is no commoner.  However, he did say his success does create challenges that are unique to him and his beloved daughter.

      “The blessings and the rewards far outweigh the challenges. I’d say the biggest challenge is the time we spend apart from each other. ‘You’re The Only One’ has been number one for the past 2 weeks.  And when you have a hit like that that’s a lot of time spent away from home.”

      The next single that’s slated to be released is “The Hunger.” Benet says it’s inspired by a real life person. A person who he admittedly could not get enough of. 

      “The new single is ‘The Hunger’ is all about making the physical connection after you’ve been physically attracted to someone and how you get past all the fantasies and visions that you’ve had in your head that lead up to the physical encounter. When the actual experience surpasses the fantasies that’s what makes it so good.  It’s like a carnal, insatiable, physical desire.  Breakin’ furniture type of situation. I will never tell, but she does exist.”

      We wonder whether or not this person has won any Academy Awards? Perhaps we’ll never know. 

      After a little more than a week “Life and Love” is number 11 on the Billboard charts and is certain to keep climbing.  It’s the type of quality we’ve come to expect from Eric Benet. 

      For more information on the goings on of the soulful crooner, log on to www.ericbenet.net or hit him up on Myspace at www.myspace.com/ericbenet or www.myspace.com/ebenetloveandlife.


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