FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
#Eternal20 Long before Wikipedia, or even the world wide web itself was invented, a "FAQ" document was a regular feature on the Internet.
This page retains its original format, designed to be circulated by email or even printed. I've endeavoured to update all the facts here, and still welcome any corrections or additions.
(version 1.2/March 2013)
This is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) file about Britain's top all-girl group, Eternal. It answers some common questions from fans, or indeed anyone who wants to learn more about Eternal. Contributions and corrections are welcome - please email .
Many thanks to the following people for their contributions: Janet Valentine, Amir Hussan, Stephen Moore, and others.
This FAQ document is © Copyright 1994-2013 Lars Janssen. Permission to copy/distribute this FAQ is granted provided that it is not modified, and includes this copyright message.
The latest version of this FAQ is held at the following site:
1.00 General Information
1.01 Who are Eternal?
1.02 What are their full names?
1.03 When/how did Eternal form?
1.04 How did they get their name?
1.05 How did they know each other before then?
1.06 Who sings on what?
1.07 Who does those rap parts on some of their songs?
1.08 Who writes Eternal's songs?
1.09 Who is "D.Bennett", credited for writing two Eternal songs?
1.10 What cover versions have Eternal done?
1.11 Who are Eternal managed by?
1.12 Which record label are Eternal signed to?
1.13 When/why did Louise leave the group?
1.14 Did Louise appear on Eternal's second album, "Power Of A Woman"?
1.15 When/why did Kéllé leave the group?
1.15 Have Eternal collaborated with any other artist?
1.16 How successful have Eternal been?
1.17 What awards have Eternal won or been nominated for?
2.01 What is Easther/Vernie/Kéllé/Louise's e-mail/address/phone number?
2.02 Is there an official fan club for Eternal?
2.03 Are there any fanzines devoted to Eternal?
2.04 What albums have Eternal released?
2.05 What singles have Eternal released?
2.06 Have Eternal appeared on any compilation albums?
2.07 Are there any Eternal posters available?
2.08 Where can I purchase Eternal records/CDs online?
3.00 Internet Resources
3.01 Are there any Eternal web sites?
3.02 Is there a mailing list dedicated to Eternal?
3.03 Is there a Usenet newsgroup dedicated to Eternal?
3.04 Is there an IRC channel for Eternal?
4.00 Easther Bennett
4.01 Some general information
4.02 Does she have any brothers or sisters?
4.03 Did she do any music, TV or films before being in Eternal?
4.04 What happened to Easther since the Eternal days?
5.00 Vernie Bennett
5.01 Some general information
5.02 Does she have any brothers or sisters?
5.03 Did she do any music, TV or films before being in Eternal?
5.04 What happened to Vernie since the Eternal days?
6.00 Kelle Bryan-Gudgeon
6.01 Some general information
6.02 Does she have any brothers or sisters?
6.03 Did she do any music, TV or films before being in Eternal?
6.04 What has Kéllé done since leaving Eternal?
7.00 Louise Redknapp
7.01 Some general information
7.02 Does she have any brothers or sisters?
7.03 Did she do any music, TV or films before being in Eternal?
7.04 What has Louise done since leaving Eternal?
- Easther Bennett
- Vernie Bennett
- Kéllé Bryan
- Louise Nurding
Eternal were a female British R&B group originally comprising four members:
In 1995 Louise Nurding left the group, while Kéllé Bryan departed in 1998. The band continued with sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett until the year 2000.
- Vernie's first name is actually Vernett, but as far as her
singing/performing career is concerned Vernie is always used.
- In the 90s, Kéllé's first name was usually shown with an acute accent over each 'e',
although she is not using this now. Kéllé now uses the name Kelle Bryan-Gudgeon, following her marriage
to Jay Gudgeon in September 2010.
- Louise is now Louise Redknapp, following her marriage in 1998 to the footballer Jamie Redknapp.
Believe it or not, I haven't found out their full names including any middle names! However:
Eternal were brought together by their manager, Denis Ingoldsby. I do not know the exact time, but 1990/1991 would be about right.
The story goes something like this: Denis met Louise in a club, who introduced him to Kéllé. Later he met Vernie (also in a club), who introduced him to Easther.
Originally they were going to be called Hymn, but they were unhappy with it because it sounded too 'churchy'. Next they decided on Elle, until it was discovered that a group in America had a similar name.
In the end, Eternal found they had little time to choose a name, but somehow they came up with Eternal because "even if Eternal don't last forever, we hope our music will". The name was a mutual decision.
On Eternal's first album, backing vocalists can be heard singing "The 'h' the 'y' the 'm' the 'n'", spelling the name 'Hymn', on the track "If You Need Me Tonight". This could possibly be a leftover from their original name, although this is not confirmed.
Easther and Vernie are sisters, while Kéllé and Louise were both friends at the Italia Conti school of performing arts before Eternal were formed.
- "Crazy" (from the album "Always & Forever"):
Louise (verse 1), Vernie (verse 2), Kéllé (verse 3) and Easther
(most of the rest).
- "Amazing Grace" (from the album "Always & Forever"):
Vernie sings the first verse, and Easther the second.
- "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" (from the "Crazy" EP):
Vernie and Easther.
- "(Something Inside) So Strong" (from the "Crazy" EP):
Vernie (verse 1, lines 1-4), Louise (verse 2, lines 1-2),
Kéllé (verse 2, lines 3-4), Easther (most of the rest).
- "Oh Happy Day" (from "I Am Blessed" disc 2):
Vernie (verse 1), Kéllé (verse 2), Easther (most of the rest)
- Vernie is dominant in the first half of "I've Got to Be With You",
on "Fantasy", "Hey Baby" and "A Friend Is A Friend".
- Kéllé is the lead singer on "I'll Take A Pass On Love" (from the
"Don't You Love Me" single). This was the first time any member of
the group has been listed as lead singer in the credits.
- Easther & Vernie share the lead on "This Life's Not For Me", which is also
on the "Don't You Love Me" single.
- On the "Before The Rain" album, Vernie sings "Think About Me", while
Kéllé is the voice behind "I'm Still Crying" and "All My Love".
- On the "Eternal" album, Vernie sings the start of "Free To Live", more than half of "Absent From You", and the first and third verses of "Melody".
Easther is the lead singer on most Eternal songs, but Vernie, Kéllé and to a lesser extent Louise took the lead for parts of songs, especially B-sides. Later Vernie and Kéllé featured as lead vocalist on whole tracks. Here's the listing so far:
In live shows, Easther normally does lead vocals, but Vernie and Kéllé usually do a solo performance each.
Kéllé does most of the rap parts, including "If You Need Me Tonight" and "Up To You", but there are others. Kéllé also did the intro to "Power Of A Woman" (album version).
The US CD single of "Just A Step From Heaven" features a brief, uncredited male rap.
Some remixes of "Don't You Love Me" feature rap by Know ?uestion of Blacksmith. Also, some versions of "Dreams" feature rap by Grand Puba and Sadat X of Brand Nubian.
Eternal write or co-write many of their own songs, but also perform songs written by a variety of other people, including BeBe Winans, Tommy Faragher and Lotti Golden, Dennis Charles and Ronnie Wilson, and Debra Killings.
Their only self-penned singles were "So Good", "Finally" (released in Japan only) and "What'cha Gonna Do".
Vernie finally answered this question on Eternal's "Greatest Clips" video in 1997. D.Bennett is Easther and Vernie's brother, Derek.
He has been credited for co-writing the songs "Loving You" and "Ain't No How I'm Steppin'" (both b-sides of the "So Good" single), "This Life's Not For Me" (from the "Don't You Love Me" single), "Might As Well Be Me" (from the "Greatest Hits" album) and "Got To Be The One" (b-side of "What'cha Gonna Do").
Here is a complete list of all the cover versions Eternal have released on CD. Details include the artist who originally recorded the song, which album the original was taken from and the original date of release.
"Stay", by Glenn Jones, from "Take It From Me", 1986.
"Let"s Stay Together", by Al Green, from "Let"s Stay Together", 1972.
"Amazing Grace", a traditional song with words by John Newton.
"His Eye Is On The Sparrow", a traditional song by Civilla D. Martin and Charles H. Gabriel.
"I Feel The Earth Move", by Carole King, from "Tapestry", 1971.
"(Something Inside) So Strong", by Labbi Siffre, from "So Strong", 1987
"Redemption Song", by Bob Marley, from "Uprising", 1980.
"Black Cat", by Janet Jackson, from "Rhythm Nation 1814", 1989.
"Still In Love", by Brian McKnight, from "I Remember You", 1995.
"Oh Happy Day", a traditional song
"Dreams", by Fleetwood Mac, from "Rumours", 1977.
Eternal were managed by First Avenue Management, a London-based company founded in 1991 by Denis Ingoldsby and Oliver Smallman. Although Denis Ingoldsby originally formed Eternal, they were later looked after by Wendy Baldock.
In December 1997, there was news of a split between Easther & Vernie and First Avenue Management. The sisters were reported to be looking for new a new manager, while Kéllé was to remain with First Avenue.
Vernie's Twitter account now refers to the management company ASM Damage Ltd, while Kéllé has started her own company, Red Hot Entertainment.
Eternal were signed to EMI Records Ltd (UK) Their music was released on the joint EMI/First Avenue Records label, and distributed by EMI. Videos were released on EMI's Picture Music International (PMI) label.
Eternal's efforts to kick-start their career in the USA were severely hampered by the closure of the USA division of EMI Records.
In October 1997, Eternal signed a worldwide music publishing deal with Warner Chapell (previously they were signed to EMI). This covers the rights to the words and music of any songs they have written, but does not cover the actual recordings.
When Louise left the group, she was also signed to the EMI/First Avenue label. Meanwhile, Kéllé's solo releases were on the Mercury label (with First Avenue).
The 'official' reason given was that she wanted to explore a different musical direction to Eternal, so she left to pursue a solo career.
There have been rumours along the lines that Eternal's management decided the group would be more successful in America without their only white member, or that they simply didn't get along. There is no evidence to support this however.
The album was released soon after Louise left the Eternal, giving rise to questions about whether or not she could be heard on any of the tracks.
It's almost certain that Louise didn't appear on the album at all - any recordings she made were probably not used.
According to Q Magazine (October 1999), Kéllé left Eternal in August 1998.
It has been widely reported, although never confirmed, that Kéllé was "sacked by fax". However, she was quoted in Q Magazine (as above) as saying "I did not leave to pursue a solo career" and "I was hardly spoken to for two years", suggesting that the split was not entirely amicable.
Their most famouse collaboration was their duet with BeBe Winans, "I Wanna Be The Only One", which can be found on their third album, "Before The Rain".
Easther and Vernie are credited for singing the backing vocals on the Dina Carroll song "This Time". It can be found on her debut album "So Close". Although not credited anywhere else, they also sung on the single version of "Don't Be A Stranger" and (possibly) "Why Did I Let You Go".
Eric Clapton played guitar on their Disney hit, Someday. This version appeared on their third album, "Before The Rain", but not the original soundtrack to "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame".
On "Dreams", Eternal were joined by rappers Grand Puba and Sadat X from Brand Nubian.
In 2002, Easther joined up with reggae band Asawd to record "Shy Guy", a cover of the Diana King hit. She is also credited for singing backing vocals on Girls Aloud's debut single, "Sound Of The Underground".
TV shows: Eternal sang 'Something Inside (So Strong)' on Live & Kicking (UK), December 1994, with the London Community Gospel Choir.
Live concerts: Easther sang a duet with Ivan Matias, "It Will Never End", on Eternal's "Good Thing" tour, 1996.
Eternal enjoyed the most success at home in the UK. Their debut album, "Always & Forever", received four platinum awards for sales in excess of 1.2 million, while "Power Of A Woman" had two. Eternal released 15 singles in the UK, all of which reached the Top 20. In May, 1997, "I Wanna Be The Only One", became the group's first and only Number One.
Internationally Eternal had Top 10 hits all over the world, and were big in Japan, Australia, much of Europe and South-East Asia. They had relatively little success in the USA.
Eternal were regular winners of the Smash Hits Awards for four consecutive years. (Smash Hits was a pop magazine based in the UK). In 1994 they won Best Newcomer, while in 1995, 1996 and 1997 they won Best Dance/Soul Act.
Eternal had four nominations in the 1995 Brits awards, one in the 1996 awards and two in the 1998 awards. Sadly, the nominations never translated into a win.
In November 1997, Eternal & Bebe Winans won a Mobo award for Best Single with "I Wanna Be The Only One".
Sometimes people think I know Eternal or their management personally because I do the web site, but that's not the case. I am not in a position to contact them or pass on messages.
All the members of Eternal have some form or presence on social networking sites, so it might be possible to contact them there:
The official fan club closed down at the start of 1997. For a while, their record company used to run an information service, sending out occasional newsletters.
Yes. In 1997, Helen Buckley and Lee Knowles started a fanzine called Eternal Chat, which was 100% devoted to all things Eternal.
A total of four issues were published.
There were four albums: "Always & Forever" (1993), "Power Of A Woman" (1995), "Before The Rain" (1997) and "Eternal" (1999). They also released "Greatest Hits" in 1997, featuring two tracks which don't appear on any previous album. For full information, see the discography at:
Here's a brief list of singles released by Eternal. See the discography at the above address for more information.
Save Our Love (1994)
Just A Step From Heaven (1994)
So Good (1994)
Oh Baby I... (1994)
Power Of A Woman (1995)
I Am Blessed (1995)
Good Thing (1996)
Who Are You? (1996) [Japan only]
Don't You Love Me (1997)
Finally (1997) [Japan only]
Think About Me (1997) [Japan only]
I Wanna Be The Only One (1997)
Angel Of Mine (1997)
What'cha Gonna Do (1999)
The group recorded "I Feel The Earth Move" for the Carole King tribute album, "Tapestry Revisited". Each track from Carole King's original "Tapestry" album was re-made by a different artist, and the album is available in several countries.
"I Feel The Earth Move" is also available on CD 2 of the "Secrets" single.
Eternal also appeared on the soundtrack to the Disney movie, "The Hunchback Of Notre Dame" with "Someday". The song was also released as a single, proving to be a big hit, and later appeared on the "Before The Rain" album.
Posters were printed in the 90s, but not widely available in high street shops. A company called Push Posters used to be the best supplier, but appear to no longer be around.
Eternal CD albums and singles, also vinyl, can be found on the main online market places. Specialist stores such as Esprit are also invaluable sources of Eternal rarities:
Eternal's first ever site was an official offering at MusicBase, but it was a very basic affair. It appeared towards the end of 1994 and disappeared a few months later.
Here is a list of active Eternal or related member sites:
Yes, in around 2005 a list was started by Steve Brown. It was later run by Lars Janssen, but was no longer active by around 2002, and eventually closed.
Usenet is a discussion network that existed long before the world wide web. It used to be that only the most well known (usually American artists) had their own group here, and one was never created for Eternal.
When Eternal reached number one in May, 1997, a group of fans decided to get together on IRC to celebrate! For around 3-4 years after that, there were regular chat sessions on Undernet, in a channel called #Eternal. Meetings took place between 8pm and 10pm, UK time, every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.
Date of birth: 11th December, 1972
Comes from: Croydon (south of London)
Music: soul/gospel, including Boyz II Men
Movies: favourites include "The Jungle Book"
Easther has two sisters, including Vernie, and six brothers, including Derek (credited with co-writing some of their songs).
No, although prior to the release of Eternal's debut single (but after Eternal came together), she did some backing vocals with Vernie on a few Dina Carroll songs. See section 1.13.
In 2002, Easther started making moves towards a solo career and debut album. She recorded a cover of Roberta Flack's "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", which was only released on a compilation CD "The Love Album 2003". The inlay for this release attributes ownership of this recording to Upside Management.
Also in 2002, Easther teamed up with Aswad, releasing the single "Shy Guy".
Although in 2008 "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" was given an MP3 release, Easther has mostly disappeared from the public eye.
Date of birth: 17th May, 1971
Comes from: Croydon (south of London)
Music: BeBe Winans, Anita Baker, Jodeci, Brian McKnight
Movies: likes "The Little Mermaid"
Vernie has two sisters, including Easther, and six brothers, including Derek (credited with co-writing some of their songs).
No, although prior to the release of Eternal's debut single (but after Eternal came together), she did some backing vocals with Easther on a few Dina Carroll songs. See section 1.13.
Vernie is believed to have finished studying law and gone on to become a practicing lawyer. She is married and has two children.
Despite having an active Twitter account and Facebook page, Vernie keeps a low profile in public life.
Former name: Kéllé Bryan
Date of birth: 12th March, 1975
Height: 5'4" (162.5cm)
Comes from: South London
Music: likes Bob Marley, Boyz II Men
Movies: likes Stargate
No, and she's the only (ex-)member of Eternal not to have any.
She has appeared on the Childrens Royal Variety Show (as did Louise), but I don't know when.
Sky magazine in their March 1995 issue said that she "used to score the occasional appearance" in EastEnders, but I've never found anything else to confirm this. Perhaps they confused her with Michelle Gayle, who had a role in the show before signing to First Avenue?
In 1999 she tried to start a solo career, releasing the single "Higher Than Heaven". This was to be followed by an album, "Breakfast In Bed", but that was never released.
In 2000, Kéllé became a celebrity patron of the Saint Thomas Lupus Trust, following her diagnosis with the disease from which she subsequently recovered.
She formed her own management company, Red Hot Entertainment, and has made a number of television appearances including "Love Island" (ITV), "Me & Mrs Jones" (BBC1) and "Rocket's Island" (CBBC).
Kéllé married Jay Gudgeon in September 2010. In 2011 they had a baby boy, Regan, and in 2013 announced that another child is on the way.
Former name: Louise Nurding
Date of birth: 4th November, 1974
Height: 5'4" (162.5cm)
Comes from: Surrey (England)
Music: likes Stevie Wonder, the Brand New Heavies
Movies: doesn't like Tarantino movies!
Yes, she has two brothers, Joe and Sam.
She has appeared on the Childrens Royal Variety Show (as did Kéllé), but I don't know when.
According to Smash Hits, Louise appeared in some episodes of Grange Hill, though this hasn't been confirmed as being true.
On leaving Eternal, Louise signed a deal with the same record company and management as Eternal - EMI and First Avenue.
Her solo music career spanned the years 1996-2003, with 12 UK Top 20 singles and three albums: "Naked", "Woman In Me" and "Elbow Beach" (also two greatest hits collections).
In 1998 Louise married the footballer Jamie Redknapp, and changed her surname (although her music was always released as just "Louise" in any case).
Since then Louise has had a varied career including TV presenter, advertising campaigns, and publishing. She appeared in the film "The Hot Potato" (2011) and has even launched a range of beauty products, Wild About Beauty.