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Eternal were a British R&B girl group formed in 1992 with the line-up consisting of Easther Bennett and her older sister Vernie Bennett, with Kéllé Bryan and her friend and classmate Louise Nurding (now known as Louise Redknapp), who were also recruited into the group by the label. The group became an international success, selling around 10 million records worldwide. Louise Redknapp left the group after the release of their debut album to focus on her solo career with the same label. Kéllé Bryan left the group under undisclosed circumstances. Sisters Easther Bennett and Vernie Bennett were the only members left when they disbanded in 2000. Eternal made a brief comeback in 2013, with Kéllé Bryan returning to the group, only for the group to disband once again in 2014. They were considered the UK's answer to the American girl group En Vogue.

Eternal's 1993 debut album Always & Forever peaked at number two on the UK Album Chart and went four-times platinum in the UK. In 1997, they reached number one on the UK Singles Chart with "I Wanna Be the Only One", which won them the 1997 Mobo Award for Best Single. They also received seven Brit Award nominations. In total they achieved 15 UK Top 20 hits between 1993 and 1999, with their other Top 10 hits including "Stay" (1993), "Oh Baby I..." (1994), "Power of a Woman" (1995), "Someday" (1996), "Secrets" (1996) and "Don't You Love Me" (1997). The group reformed as a trio without Louise Redknapp in 2013 for the second series of the ITV2 reality show The Big Reunion, and performed a one-off concert In March 2014.

1992–93: Formation

Eternal were formed in 1992 by music manager Denis Ingoldsby of First Avenue Records, after which Eddie Gordon showed him how the success of En Vogue was built in the United Kingdom. Eternal were quickly signed to EMI Records and released their debut single, "Stay", in September 1993. The song was a success and it reached number four in the UK Singles Chart.[5][6] Easther and Vernie Bennett were scouted in a nightclub in London and eventually found Louise Nurding. The trio began working together and recording until Louise introduced her longtime friend Kéllé Bryan to the management and joined the group.


Always & Forever and Louise's departure
Eternal released their debut album, Always & Forever in November 1993, and it reached number two in the UK Albums Chart. The album sold over one million copies in the United Kingdom, and confirmed as four times platinum, making it one of 1994's biggest selling albums and the year's biggest selling debut album.[citation needed] They were named Best Group at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, and were nominated for four Brit Awards. Nurding decided to leave the group before the recording of Eternal's second album, and went on to pursue a successful solo career. In a 2014 interview, Vernie Bennett stated that the group were "gutted" when Nurding announced she was leaving and was suggested that Bryan would leave also to form a duo with Louise in which Bryan stated she did not wish to do.


Trio line-up: Power of a Woman and Before the Rain
Following the departure of Louise Nurding, the group decided not to replace her and carried on as a trio. Power of a Woman was the first album as a trio, and entered the UK chart at number six. Another great success for the group, it produced four hit singles, they were, "Power of a Woman", "I Am Blessed" (which they performed for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 1995), a remixed version of "Good Thing" and a remixed version of "Secrets". All continued Eternal's tally of Top 10 UK hits.

In 1997, Eternal achieved their first ever UK number one, a duet with BeBe Winans, "I Wanna Be the Only One", which became the second most played song on UK Radio in 1997, and stayed at the top spot for one week. It was taken from their third album Before the Rain, which also included "Don't You Love Me". The album peaked at number three in the UK.

Greatest Hits:

Eternal's Greatest Hits package was released in the later part of 1997, and became the highest selling Greatest Hits package of the year. In 2013, Eternal's Greatest Hits album was confirmed as being the biggest selling "Best Of" by a girl group in the UK, it peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart. It featured their last Top 10 single "Angel of Mine", which reached number four. "Angel of Mine" became an EP which featured four different mixes including a remix by veteran party producer Frankie Cutlass and a cover of Fleetwood Mac's track "Dreams" Feat: Grand Puba and Sadat X.


Duo line-up: Bryan's departure, self-titled album, and split
In 1998, a week after their Party in the Park performance, Kéllé Bryan was controversially sacked by the Bennett Sisters via a fax from their solicitor. Their reasons cited "a breakdown in professional relations". A short time later, Bryan was diagnosed with lupus and was forced to abandon plans for a solo career. "What'Cha Gonna Do" was released from their fourth album Eternal and hit number 16. With lack of promotion the album charted at number 87. The next single "I Cry Real Tears" was expected to be released in April 2000, with a new version of the song; however, the single was scrapped due to poor sales of the album and Eternal were released from their recording deal with EMI. Internationally, the track "Free to Live" was released and translated to "Libre para vivir" which had moderate success in some European countries. The last televised performance by Eternal was on Songs of Praise in 2000 where Easther and Vernie performed the track "He Is".

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