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Eric Benet's New Album Takes Him Home Again

Of the Oakland Press

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Forget about not being able to go home again -- R&B singer Eric Benet did just that, going home to Milwaukee to write and record his third album, "Love & LIfe."

"For me, the whole album was about going back to the roots of R&B," explains Benet, 41, who was married to actress Halle Berry from 2001-2005. "I wanted it to feel like one of those records that made me fall in love with the idea of becoming a recording artist -- Earth, Wind & Fire to Stevie (Wonder) to Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Rufus, Marvin Gaye...

"So I figured if I was gonna do a record about going back to the roots, I should go back to [i]my[/i] roots and the guys I started in the game with."

Benet notes that "Love & Life," which has already spawned the No. 1 Urban AC hit "You're the Only One," is also "the first time in my career I had complete control" of his work. After two albums for Warner Bros./Reprise he negotiated a deal to moved to the independent label Friday, although Warners is still handling distribution and marketing for the project.

"(Friday) is owned by a friend of mine," Benet explains. "So Friday picks up the tab for the production and I'm still considered a Warners/Reprise artist. It's like the best of both worlds; I get to make the record I want and still have one of the biggest companies around get it out there for me. You gotta love that."

Eric Benet and Phredley perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 1) at the City Theatre in the Hockeytown Cafe, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $41. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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