Born and reared in Milwaukee as Eric Benét Jordan, Benét is the youngest of five from a very musical household. His father, a police detective, loved classical music. Whereas, his mother would sing around the house, even singing the duties to the kids. In addition, Eric's older siblings gave him a big dose of Stevie Wonder, who is one of his top musical influences. Eric was also influenced by Al Green, Sly Stone, Donny Hathaway, Chaka Khan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, the Beatles, Queen and gospel music among others. He started showcasing his musical talent in church in the gospel choir. Eventually, he expanded to school plays and musicals. Eric soon realized at a young age that he wanted to pursue music professionally. Eric's first professional break came when he joined a local group, Gerard, in the late 80's. They toured various night clubs and small venues covering top 40 tunes. It was during this time that Eric learned through experience. He experimented and performed all types of music from rock to pop to soul to hip hop.