Always And Forever More... The Eternal Story-
Part 1: The Beginnings Of An Eternity
Devoted to Soul
Eternal have all been devoted soul fans from early on (anyone from Stevie Wonder and Be Be Winans to Whitney Houston and the Sounds of Blackness) and were born to entertain! Sisters Easther (22) and Vernie (24) Bennett had previously been singing in church choirs. Louise Nurding (20) and Kéllé Bryan (20) had first performed on Children's Variety Shows and were mates at the Italia Conti School of Performing Arts.
Eternal spent a year getting to know one another while continuing their studies (Vernie is an ex-law student), and perfecting their dance routines (Kéllé was already a qualified dance teacher) and a year creating their debut LP, "Always and Forever". Faith in the girls' talents were compounded by the appearance of the giants of dance production/ remixing/ writing, keen to work with what looked like the first massive British female soul group for years.
They recorded in the U.K, New York, Nashville and L.A. with Be Be Winans (Gladys Knight, Whitney Houston), Nigel Lowis (Dina Carroll), Steve Jervier (anyone ever associated with "swing"), Scott Cutler (Brenda Russell, Chaka Khan), Tommy Faragher and Lotti Golden (Fine Young Cannibals, Al Green).
"Stay" (released September '93) became the debut single and it soared to No.4 in the U.K. charts, followed by the album in late November. "Always and Forever" went "gold" 4 weeks later just as Eternal's second single "Save Our Love", another Top Ten hit, was about to be released. The group were quick to prove themselves 'live' as they embarked on a month long U.K. tour at the end of 1993, as special guests to Dina Carroll.
Eternal wasted no time in introducing themselves to the rest of the world as 1994 saw the group go global. First stop was America where the girls were met with great curiosity by the media who were used to British girl groups especially like the 'Arsenio Hall Show' plus numerous radio and press interviews, "Stay" became a Top 10 hit, a rare achievement by British artists these days.
While "Stay" was zooming up the charts in America Eternal released a new single "Just A Step From Heaven" in April which gave them their 3rd consecutive Top 10 hit. The album "Always and Forever" was hot on the heels of the single as it re-entered the Top 5.
Back on the road Eternal spent 2 months in the Far East and 'down under' where they became a huge success with a Top 5 hit in Australia and Top 10 success in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. They traveled to 8 countries altogether, including New Zealand, Thailand and Korea, and besides working their 'boogers' off they managed to visit a Taiwanese orphanage and the Wall of Fame in Singapore where they signed their names. They also did a special, one-off concert at a New Zealand school in front of 1500 enthralled schoolgirls.
"So Good" (released August 1994), written by Eternal, became the group's 4th hit. And the release of their 5th singles "Oh Baby I..." / "Sweet Funky Thing" on 24th October coincided with the group's first trip to South Africa where they performed with Sting and Midnight Oil at Johannesburg's biggest ever outdoor concert.
Eternal started 1995 in good shape as they received four nominations for the Brits Awards and won an award for 'Best Dance Act' at the International Dance Awards.
Although they didn't actually win an award at the Brits, they gave a stunning performance at the ceremony which was broadcast in dozens of countries around the world! Their performance was a tribute to the legendary Motown girl group from the Sixties, The Supremes. Their costumes a stunning reflection of the sixties, they stormed through three classic Supremes hits - "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", and "Stop! In The Name Of Love".