All I got was a text saying Paul had quit’: Singer Ben Adams talks about the rift that led to A1’s bitter split on The Big Reunion
Happier days: The band insisted they all got on well in the earlier days of the group
They were both huge bands in the 90’s that toured the world, sold millions of records and topped the charts, but both Eternal and A1 met their tumultuous end when cracks started to show.
Girl group Eternal were originally made up of members Easther and Vernie Bennett, Kéllé Bryan and Louise Nurding, and were bought together by chance, being scouted on the club circuit initially and launching as a four piece in 1992.
Boy band A1 were an unlikely band, formed from Norwegian music student Christian Ingebrigtsen, singer Mark Read, friend Ben Adams and dancer Paul Marazzi. And despite scoring top ten hits at the height of their fame and selling 10 million records the band came to a bitter split in 2002
Despite scoring top ten hits at the height of their fame and selling 10 million records A1 came to a bitter split in 2002.
After talking through their career highlights, which included winning a Brit award, and for casanova Ben winning an award for most fanciable male was a ‘milestone’ moment.
The show also revealed an intense battles of egos, Mark admitted that Ben and Christian used to compete for the attention of girls, which even resulted in a slapping match.
Christian said: ‘Ben loved to be the center of attention, and sometimes I liked to be that too’
Adding: ‘Because Ben was the most popular one, it was a little bit of envy on my part’
Summertime Of Our Lives: The group enjoyed huge success before they officially split in 2002
Telling it like it is: Ben was honest about how let down he felt by Paul leaving
In the beginning: Eternal started with four members, included Louise who is now known as Louise Redknapp
Truth hurts: Easther and her sister didn’t feel Kelle really wanted to be in the band
At the height of the band’s fame things took an unexpected turn on the last leg of their Indonesian tour. Ben recalled the terrible tragedy in which four girls got trampled to death at one of their gigs.
He said: ‘You could see girls faces being squashed against the glass, so they pushed some people back, but I think the sheer enormity of people there were uncontrollable, and unfortunately four young girls got squashed to death at the signing’
Mark recalled through tears: ‘Two girls got tripped over and trampled over, and they were sisters. And two more from the intense heat and passed out and got trampled over. we didn’t know anything about it’
Caught In The Middle: Paul felt left out when his verse was cut in their collaboration with a French singer
Where it all went wrong: A1 admitted Paul leaving the group was the catalyst for them breaking up
New direction: Ben admitted that the terrible accident in Asia marked a new stripped back direction for the band
Thoughtful: Mark recounted the bands early success
Black Sheep: Paul has left a bitter taste in the groups mouth as he hasn’t been in contact with any of them since leaving
Power Of A Women: Vernie spoke up about where she thought it all went wrong for Eternal
Milestone moment: Ben recalls receiving his most fanciable male award as a ‘milestone’
Ben admitted that was a turning point for the boys to ‘revaualte what we were doing’
Which Norwegian Christian pinpointed as the time period they begun to loose their fourth member: ‘I think Paul stopped caring that much and withdrew a little bit more’
Ben revealed Paul refused to speak to him for the entire month they were on the next tour together, all because he had asked him to step away from the microphone a little bit earlier in rehearsal.
The final straw came when was time to travel to France to record a version of their song with with a French singer, and Paul didn’t turn up to the airport.
Ben recalled angrily: ‘All I got was a text saying Paul had quit, it just seemed rude, we were great friends and brothers, it seemed like I know you need me, but f**k off. Paul leaving was the catalyst for breaking up, when Paul left that left shockwaves through everything’
The baby faced singer added: ‘He doesn’t want to meet up to discuss it all, it’s bizarre it’s odd.’
New chapter: Ben now produces music from his home for other popstars
Superstars: At their height the girl group’s Album Always and Forever went four times platinum
And then there were three: The group continued as three, but were never happy
Power of a Woman: Eternal went on to achieve bigger things after Louise left the group to pursue a solo career
Meanwhile in Eternal, there was trouble brewing from the start, as Kéllé revealed she never felt truly part of the band as she was the last member to join.
Kéllé said of the early days: ‘It was a very exciting time, we went from no-one to someone in a very short time. It was a whirlwind, we were never home, there were two or three TV shows to do in one day’
Despite enjoying rapidly growing success, founding member Louise unexpectedly quit. Kéllé said of the news: ‘It was devastating no one could replace Louise’
Someday: The girls were all optimistic about recording together again
Going it alone: It was Kelle’s choosing to record her vocals separately which led to her being fired from the band
My side: The girls were keen to tell their side of the story in the big reunion
Sister Sister: Easther and Vernie discuss what they think Kéllé could be up to now in the Big Reunion
This began the rift that would ultimately end Eternal, as Kéllé made her reasons clear as to what conditions she would stay in the three piece.
Kéllé said: ‘I did struggle, I knew Louise’s reason for leaving but they weren’t mine. For me to stay it would have to be a financial reason.’
Despite going on to have 15 top 20 hits, including their debut single Stay, which reached number four in 1993, and I Wanna Be The Only One scored their first number one, there was never perfect harmony in the trio.
Vernie revealed when it came to recording one of their last tracks, all was not good: ‘Me and Easther were told by our record company Kellie wanted to record by herself.’
Shortly after Kéllé was subsequently fired by fax, which left her upset and confused: ‘I was hurt because I didn’t understand, there was no closure, I didn’t know what I did wrong’
Frustrated: Kelle said she was left confused by the split of Eternal in The Big Reunion
New life: Easther now works as a beauty therapist in a hotel, which she says she really enjoy
Top of their game: Eternal were the first ever girl group to sell over 1 million copies of an album in the UK