Eric Benét took part in the 2014 BET Experience by way of the Centric network’s “Centric Certified” finale event, which provided the opportunity for fans to get up close and personal with the sultry singer and sex symbol for an intimate interview. The decor set the stage for a classy affair, with several billowy white leather sofas where fans got to sit in comfort and style, while they listened to a DJ spin R&B before Benét arrived.
Centric, the newly African-American female-focused network, brought Jagged Edge, Sebastian Mikael, Liv Warfield and Warren G to the stage during last weekend’s BET Experience—but saved the best for last with the beloved Eric Benét.
Once introduced by host Julie Smith, Benét was accompanied by fellow soul singer Calvin Richardson, and spoke about his recent signing of the singer to his bourgeoning label, Jordan House Records. About the label, Benét said he’s looking for artists who’ve already had some exposure and a solid fan base. He also recently revealed signing neo-soul singer Goapele and R&B crooner Jon B. to Jordan House, but isn’t opposed to finding new talent down the line.
Sticking to the subject of music, Benét gave his thoughts on the recent passing of music veteran Bobby Womack. “We can all say that we’ve been influenced by his brilliance,” he remarked, “and I’m one of many in this industry who thinks of Bobby Womack as a pioneer who influenced so many different genres—from the Rolling Stones, to Paul McCartney, to Janice Joplin—in addition to all of us in the R&B realm.”
Then the Centric Certified floor was opened to the audience. One fan had a question regarding today’s music being heavily influenced by sex, and wanted to know what Eric Benét thought about that. Benét (who openly admitted to being a sex addict during his time with ex-wife Halle Berry) responded: “For me the music in the past—like 10, 15, 20 years ago—I felt back in the day they were more creative lyrically. And from my perspective, it’s always more sexy when you’re less overt.
“I mean, if a young lady walked into the club and she was just immaculately presented, with a wonderful dress and her makeup was done… and she had shoes that matched and was beautiful, to me that’s more sexy than a young lady walking in a club with her shorts going all up her… you know. That’s just me. So I think lyrically, when you’re more creative and subtle, the effects are even stronger.”
With that answer, the ladies (and men) erupted into cheers of approval.
The Centric event was capped off with fans getting their once-in-a-lifetime chance to hug both Eric Benét and Calvin Richardson, take photos, and have the singers sign autographs as well.
Aside from the interview, Centric Certified also featured a cool digital augmenting green-screen photo both where fans got a chance to insert themselves on the stage of the BET Awards, either performing or accepting an award.
The Centric Certified finale at the BET Experience proved the delight of fans young and old.