Eric Benét has done it all. Over the course of his 25-year solo career, the R&B superstar has earned four Grammy nominations, released a pair of chart-topping singles, sold millions of records, and performed to adoring fans all over the planet. Along the way, the accomplished musician has also worked his way into the realm of acting by landing roles in mainstream films, sitcoms, and television movies. What Benét has done over the course of his career is even more impressive when you factor in where it all started and just how close it all came to coming to an end before it really even began.

While back in his native Milwaukee for a homecoming performance at Northern Lights Theater, the multi-talented entertainer took a little in the hours leading up to the show to meet My First Band host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record headquarters to talk about standout moments from his incomparable career, upcoming music and film projects, and his artistic origin at his church and as part of a Top 40s tribute band. During the fun and interesting hour-long discussion, Benét also opened up about moving home and working at UPS when his first record deal fell apart, being handpicked by Mariah Carey to be her Glitter co-star, and how Michelle Obama’s appreciation of his music led to an invite to party with the then-First Family in the White House.

My First Band is sponsored by Mystery Room Mastering. The show is edited by Jared Blohm. You can listen to My First Band on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and wherever else you get podcasts. Music used in this show comes courtesy of Devils Teeth (“The Junction Street Eight Tigers”) and Eric Benét (“Home”).