Benet (ba-nay) was the brother-sister vocal duo of Lisa and Eric Benet Jordan who released a self-titled debut on EMI Records around October 1992. The Milwaukeans worked with an impressive list of producers: Jeff Lorber (Art Porter), Bryan Loren (Shanice, Vesta, Mic Murphy), Robert Brookins (Stephanie Mills, Christopher Williams), Sami McKinney (Melba Moore, Patti Labelle), and their cousin, George Nash, Jr. There was stellar instrumental support from Lorber, Loren, Freddie Hubbard, Alec Milstein, Dave Koz, Les Pierce, Gary Meeks, and Paul Jackson, Jr.
Benet started in 1984, when Eric Benet began writing songs with Nash. This led to them recording basement demos and sending them to record companies. A lot of them came back unopened, stamped not accepting unsolicited material. But they kept trying. After hooking up with Gerard Entertainment Group, a Milwaukee production firm, Eric began performing with a band called Gerard and Lisa with a band called Beat Crazy. They performed with the bands for three years. During their off days, they'd be recording in the Gerard facilities. It was a very intense time for them, tearing down the band gear because they had no roadies, then going into the studio early the next morning. After three years of recording demos, the duo felt that they had some pretty decent material. They attended the Jack the Rapper convention in Atlanta, an annual record business event. That year a contest was held -- "Tracking With the Future Stars" -- where about 500 to 1,000 demo tapes were narrowed down to 20 acts that would perform.
Benet was picked to be perform in front of an audience that included Keith Sweat, the O'Jays, Gerald Levert, and other performers and producers. Afterwards, they were approached by a big-name producer who wanted to do one of their songs. But they rejected the offer, citing that they wanted to keep the songs for their act and not share any of the publishing. After thinking about the opportunity they had turned down, the duo felt really dumb. But it turns out that a producer from The Sally Jessy Raphael Show was there and wanted Benet to come on Raphael's show to help promote a show produced by their parent company, Multimedia. Record producer Sami McKinney saw Benet's appearance on Sally Jessy Raphael and contacted their management about doing some demos. When they were completed, McKinney took the demos to Capitol. The Benet album didn't chart and only had one chart single. Lisa Jordan went back into private life while Eric stuck with it until he got his breakthrough with the album True to Myself. ~ Ed Hogan