Grammy Award winning singer Eric Benet was born Eric Benet Jordan in 1966, Benet being his mother's maiden name. He was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is the youngest of five siblings.
Benet's father loved classical music and inspired an interest in music in his son. He sang with a Top 40-style group called Gerard in the late 1980s. Then Benet, his sister, Lisa, and his cousin, George Nash Jr., formed a band called Benet and released a self-titled album in 1992 but only sold 70,000 copies.
Benet's career-building, however, was interrupted by a series of personal tragedies. His father died of cancer, and his girlfriend, Tami Marie Stauff, the mother of Benet's daughter, India, born in 1991, died of injuries suffered in an automobile crash (April 24, 1993) after languishing in a coma for five days. Benet endured a long period of personal and creative depression, often feeling that only his responsibilities as a father kept him going. He took a job with United Parcel Service in Milwaukee and eased back into music by producing demo recordings for local artists.
In 1994, Benet signed with Warner Bros. Records, releasing his solo debut album, True to Myself, in fall (1996). Individual songs from the album were successful, including the top-ten R&B hit "Spiritual Thang" and "Let's Stay Together," which appeared on the soundtrack of the film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.
His next album, A Day in the Life, was released in 1999; its first single, "Georgy Porgy (featuring Faith Evans)" received significant airplay, but the second single, "Spend My Life With You" (featuring Tamia), became a smash hit. "Spend My Life With You" rose to number one on the American R&B charts, 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.
Benet also recorded for Earth, Wind, and Fire's 30th anniversary CD. He contributed vocals to the post-Katrina charity single, "Heart of America" along with Michael McDonald, Wynonna Judd, and Terry Dexter. He has also lended vocals to many jazz albums for such artists as Wayman Tisdale, George Duke, Chris Botti, Jeff Lorber, Boney James, etc.
Benet has also been active as an actor; he had a recurring role on the television program For Your Love (1998 - 2002). He made his film debut alongside Mariah Carey in Glitter (2001). He has a recurring role on the MTV scripted show "Kaya" (2007) where he plays a music producer.
In 2006, Benet release Hurricane, an album that received some critical acclaim but did not cath on with the music-buying public. His fourth album, Love & Life, was released in September 2008 and had some success. He followed it up two years later with Lost In Time, a loving tribute to the soul sounds of the 70s.