louise nurding was born in lewisham, south london on 4 november 1974. the eldest of tim and lynne nurding's three children, she recalls happy days helping her grandfather sell produce at his stand in the lewisham market. though nurding entertained childhood dreams of becomming a singer, her early vocal training was limited merely to attempting to loose her dinstinctive south london accent, after relocating with her family to eltham. if she had her way, however, she'd have taken it one step further in an attempt to emulate her american soul idols, stevie wonder and diana ross. when she was eleven years old, nurding accepted a scholarship to study at the prestigious italia conti stage school, where she met future eternal groupmate, kelle bryan. however, like many north american divasmartika, alanis morissette, danielle brisboisenurding would have to tackle television audiences before acheiving her true dream of becomming a singer.
born on 12 march 1975, kelle bryan is the youngest member of eternal. though also a student at the italia conti stage school, bryan's sights were set upon dancing, as opposed to acting. "when i was a child, i dreamt of being on the stage. i'd watch my favourite stars and long to be part of their world," she explains on the chrysalis website. bryan's first opportunity to live out her dream came as a dance instructor, prior to hitching her wagon to louise nurding's, as a future member of eternal.
the eldest member of eternal, vernie bennet was born on 17 may 1971 and is the sister of fellow eternal member easther bennet. the daughter of a ministering mother of nine children, vernie's younger days were filled with gospel and the musical fellowship of her siblings; trained on the piano and violin, vernie used to create music with her brothers and sisters long before becoming a member of eternal. though a student of law at wolverhampton university, vernie never abandoned her dreams of becomming a singer"ever since i can remember, i've always wanted to be a singer"and was discovered by eternal founder denis ingoldsby while singing, one evening, at a local club.
last, but by no means least, is easther bennet, who was born on 11 december 1972. though the youngest of her mother, matilda's, nine children claims that "when [i] started out in eternal, [i] was very young and had a lot to learn about the music buisness, fans and the hard work", she obviously didn't have too much to learn about singing; easther sings lead vocals on many of eternal's biggest hits and, while the women of eternal share vocal duties, is often recognized as the voice of eternal. along with her sister, vernie, easther brings a very strong gospel tradition to eternal, commenting, "i was brought up in south london and went to my mother's church every sunday. i also learned to play the violin and recorder, and would play at most [school] assemblies."
like the animals of noah's arc, the women of eternal came aboard what would soon become one of england's most successful female vocal ensembles in sets of two, with louise and kelle signing on first after nurding met ingoldsby at the milk bar. nurding enlisted her schoolmate, bryan, and the two were paired up with the bennett sisters, once vernie had convinced easther to join her in accepting ingoldsby's offer. having united under the name eternal, the women signed with first avenue management, the home to such renowned acts as michelle gayle and dina carroll. they then spent the next year getting to know each other, perfecting dance routines and creating a debut release that would eventually take england by storm.
released in 1993, eternal's first single, "stay", shot to number three on the charts, followed closely by the release of always & forever. though the release of their second single, "save our love", proved equally as successful, eternal were eager to prove themselves as live performers and, therefore, signed up to serve as an opening act for dance diva dina carrol's sold-out fifteen-venue national tour. subsequent releases from the ablum kept eternal in the top twenty of the charts, creating a final total of six top-fifteen chart singles and an equal number of number one dance hits. four 1995 brit awards nominations, two silver clef awards, two smash hit awards and an international dance award reflected the success that eternal had acheived from their native england to lands as distant as the united states, autralia, japan and malaysia.
in 1995, eternal suffered the loss of member louise nurding. though loyal fans were devastated by the news, both eternal's remaining three members and louise were able to continue on, giving the public twice as much of what they'd been so pleased with for the preceding two years. in the fall of that year, an undaunted eternal released power of a woman to critical acclaim. in fact, eternal even had the pleasure of counting the pope among their fans, this time around, and were invited to perform for in him in rome, italy. the following year, not to be outdone, louise released naked, perhaps indicating how she felt without kelle, easther and vernie by her side. five successful singles and album sales in excess of one million units confirmed that louise had managed to tranform herself into a solo act of exceptional ability.
in 1997, the release of "don't you love me" preceded that of eternal's third studio lp, before the rain, and represented the women's highest charting single, to date. in october of that year, louise released her sophomore album, woman in me, simultaneously launching her first headlining tour. twenty-one dates and three singles later, louise was married to liverpool soccer player jamie redknapp at a bermuda ceremony aboard a yacht. easther, too, is married, to boyzone group member shane lynch.
after a considerable time away from the recording studio, it was announced that eternal member kelle bryan would be following her former classmate's example by leaving the group to pursue a solo career. now down to two members, the remaining women of eternal more closely resemble zhané than en vogue; in spite of their dwindling roster a new single entitled "what'cha gonna do" has already been released in anticipation of their first album as a duo. kelle bryan is also set to release an albumher first solo effortwhich is likely to be followed by a third release from original member louise nurding. regardless of the number of women in their ever-changing line-up, the members of eternal (past and present) have proven themselves a considerable force within the music scene, both in their native england and abroad. heralded as the highest-selling female group in british history, erternal has acheived a level of success that has been witnessed, thus far, by only one other english girl group bananrama. what's more, as victims of the british press' dauntless pursuit, eternal has both obtained and surpassed diva status by revealing themselves to be real-life, thinking, feeling artists.