Benee

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Benee
Benee at Laneway Festival in February 2020
Benee at Laneway Festival in February 2020
Background information
Birth nameStella Rose Bennett
Also known asBene (2017–2018)
Born (2000-01-30) 30 January 2000 (age 21)
Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2017–present
Labels
Websitebeneemusic.com

Stella Rose Bennett[1] (born 30 January 2000[2][3]), better known as Benee (stylised in all caps; pronounced /ˈbɛn/[4]) and formerly Bene,[5] is a New Zealand singer and songwriter from Auckland. In both 2019 and 2020, she consecutively won Single of the Year, Best Solo Artist and Best Pop Artist at the New Zealand Music Awards. Benee initially gained local prominence with her singles "Glitter" and "Soaked", before her 2019 single "Supalonely" saw international popularity following its success on the video-sharing platform TikTok. Benee subsequently released her debut album, Hey U X, in November 2020.

Under the moniker of Bene, she made her solo debut with the 2017 single "Tough Guy", before later gaining prominence with her 2018 single "Soaked", which has been certified double-platinum in New Zealand. She released her debut EP, Fire on Marzz, with help from producer Josh Fountain in June 2019. Her second EP, Stella & Steve, was released in November 2019 and charted in the US, Canada and France as a result of the international success of the EP's final single, "Supalonely". Since 2018, Benee has earned five entries on the Triple J Hottest 100, three of which were in the 2019 list.

Life and career[edit]

2000–2017: Early life[edit]

Stella Rose Bennett was born and raised in the suburb of Grey Lynn in Auckland.[6][7] She grew up in a "really musical"[8] family with parents who would expose her to the catalogs of Radiohead, Björk and Groove Armada.[9][10][11] From the age of eight, Benee began taking guitar lessons in primary school before starting saxophone lessons in high school.[12] Eventually, Benee dropped all music in order to prioritise water polo.[12] She claims it "was [her] life" and that she at one point hoped to represent New Zealand competitively.[13][14] Benee later became interested in writing and recording music at the age of 17,[10] after deciding that she did not want to pursue a career in water polo.[13] Benee attended an all girls Catholic school, St Mary's College, where music was compulsory for four years.[15][10]

2017–2018: Online beginnings and solo debut[edit]

Benee began her music career by posting covers to SoundCloud, and began making her own music in her final year of high school.[16] After dropping out of a communications degree at the Auckland University of Technology after two weeks, during what she called "a quarter-life crisis", she decided to enter the music business professionally.[4] Her music caught the attention of Josh Fountain, a producer and member of the band Leisure, with whom she worked on both her 2017 debut single "Tough Guy" and her 2018 single "Soaked".[17][18] Benee (as Bene) earned her first career entry on the Triple J Hottest 100 2018 with "Soaked" at #58.[19]

2018–2019: Fire on Marzz and Stella & Steve[edit]

In February 2019, Benee supported Lily Allen for an Auckland show during her No Shame Tour.[20] Under the moniker of "Bene", released her debut EP Fire on Marzz on 28 June 2019, before later adding an "e" because of "pronunciation woes",[21] and copyright issues.[22] She had signed to Republic Records in early 2019, prior to this release.[23] The EP, which was described by George Fenwick of The New Zealand Herald as "a funky, sun-soaked record", peaked at #13 on the New Zealand Albums Chart and at #75 on the Australian Albums Chart. The EP also earned Benee the award for Best Solo Artist at the 2019 New Zealand Music Awards in November 2019, where she also won awards for Single of the Year with "Soaked", Best Breakthrough Artist and Best Pop Artist.[24]

Benee's follow-up EP, Stella & Steve, was released on 15 November 2019.[23] The EP features the single "Supalonely" featuring Gus Dapperton, which later gained international success in March 2020 after a viral dance challenge accompanied by the song spawned on the online video-sharing platform TikTok.[25][26] This became her second song to become viral on TikTok after "Glitter" spawned a similar dance challenge in December 2019.[27] Benee also supported American singer-songwriter Conan Gray for nine nights of his Comfort Crowd Tour of North America during December 2019.[28] Benee's singles, "Glitter", "Find an Island", and "Evil Spider" each appeared in the 2019 Triple J Hottest 100 at 19, 25 and 51 respectively.[29]

2020–present: "Supalonely" and Hey U X[edit]

Benee's first headlining North American tour with support from American singer Remi Wolf was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[30][31] In June 2020, the song "Supalonely" clocked over 250 million streams before Benee made her television debut performing it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon alongside Gus Dapperton.[32][33] She also performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show a month later.[34] In July 2020, Benee released the single "Night Garden" featuring American producer Kenny Beats and British musician Bakar,[35] before releasing the single "Snail" amid the COVID-19 lockdowns in August 2020.[36] Also in July, she was announced as Apple Music's Up Next artist for the month of July, becoming the first New Zealand artist with the title.[37]

Benee featured on the track "Afterthought" on Japanese-Australian musician Joji's second studio album, Nectar (2020).[38] In October 2020, Benee was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 People's Choice Awards.[39] Benee performed "Supalonely" on the American talk show Late Night with Seth Meyers in October 2020.[40] In October 2020, Benee departed on a headlining tour of New Zealand October 2020,[41] and formed her own record label named Olive.[42] On 15 October 2020, Benee announced her debut album, Hey U X, which was released on 13 November 2020.[43] She had prior noted that it would differ musically from her previous releases.[44][45] In late October 2020, Benee released the single "Plain" featuring Lily Allen and Flo Milli, shortly before she was announced as the winner of the 2020 APRA Silver Scroll Award for the song "Glitter".[46] She also won Best New Zealand Act at the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards,[47] where she was also nominated for Best New Act and Best Push Act.[48] On 13 November 2020, Hey U X was released, as was a music video for "Kool", which served as its fourth single.[49] She subsequently won Single of the Year (for "Supalonely"), Best Solo Artist and Best Pop Artist for the second consecutive year at the 2020 Aotearoa Music Awards.[50] She announced and then rescheduled a regional tour in Aotearoa aka New Zealand in 2021 to 2022. [51]

Personal life[edit]

In an interview for The New Zealand Herald, Benee revealed that she has dyslexia. She also described her childhood experiences with songwriting:[5]

throughout school I struggled with writing....I liked creative writing, that was what I loved, but I was always making mistakes, and I was confined to this way that I should write....Songwriting for me was this place where I don't have to be grammatically correct. Learning the craft with [Josh Fountain], when he was sharing all his knowledge – something clicked, and I was just like, I love this. It's a great emotional outlet for me; I just love splashing what I feel on to a track.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
NZ
[52]
AUS
[53]
Hey U X 2 22

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
NZ
[55]
AUS
[56]
CAN
[57]
FRA
[58]
US
[59]
US
Alt.

[60]
US
Heat.

[61]
Fire on Marzz 13 75
Stella & Steve
  • Released: 15 November 2019
  • Label: Republic
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
19 91 150 138 5 1
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
AUS
[64]
Fire on Marzz / Stella & Steve
  • Released: 14 February 2020[65]
  • Label: Republic
  • Formats: LP
19[A]

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications shown
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
NZ
[55]
NZ
Artist

[67]
AUS
[68]
BEL
(FL)

[69]
CAN
[70]
IRE
[71]
NLD
[72]
NOR
[73]
UK
[74]
US
[75]
"Tough Guy"[76] 2017 [B] Non-album single
"Soaked" 2018 14 1 Fire on Marzz
"Evil Spider"[79] 2019 [C] 3
"Want Me Back"[81] [D] 12
"Glitter" 3 2 20 [E]
"Find an Island" [F] 5 83 Stella & Steve
"Monsta"[88] [G] 18
"Supalonely"
(featuring Gus Dapperton)
2 1 6 3 10 11 9 6 18 39 Stella & Steve and Hey U X
"Lownely" 2020 [H] [I] Non-album single
"Night Garden"
(featuring Kenny Beats and Bakar)
[J] 12 [K] Hey U X
"Snail" [L] 18
"Plain"
(featuring Lily Allen and Flo Milli)
[M] 17
"Kool" [N] 18
"Happen to Me"[101] 2021 [O] 20
"Doesn't Matter"[103] Non-album single
"—" denotes releases that did not chart, or charted on a subchart.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist
Title Year Album
"Are You Letting Go?"[104]
(Dreamer Boy featuring Benee)
2021 TBA

Promotional singles[edit]

List of promotional singles
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot
[105]
"Somebody That I Used to Know"[106]
(Amazon Original)
2021 40 Non-album single

Other charted songs[edit]

List of songs, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot
[107]
NZ
Artist
[67]
UK
Breakers

[108]
US
Rock
&
Alt.

[109]
"Afterlife" 2019 26 Fire on Marzz
"Wishful Thinking" 27
"Kua Kore He Kupu / Soaked"[110] 8 5 Waiata / Anthems
"Blu" 31 Stella & Steve
"Drifting"
(featuring Jack Berry)
32
"Afterthought"[38]
(with Joji)
2020 3 11 10 28 Nectar
"Same Effect" 8 Hey U X
"Sheesh"
(featuring Grimes)
12
"Winter"
(featuring Mallrat)
18
"Back to Black"[111] 29 InVersions - Deezer Originals
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artists Album
"Notice Me"[112] 2019 Role Model Oh, How Perfect

Awards and nominations[edit]

List of awards and nominations received by Benee
Organization Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
APRA Music Awards 2019 Silver Scroll "Soaked" Shortlisted [113]
2020 "Glitter" Won [46]
MTV Europe Music Awards 2019 Best New Zealand Act Herself Nominated [114]
2020 Won [47]
Best New Act Nominated [48]
Best Push Act Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards 2020 Push Best New Artist Longlisted [115]
New Zealand Music Awards 2019 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Won [24]
Best Pop Artist Won
Best Solo Artist Fire on Marzz Won
Single of the Year "Soaked" Won
2020 "Supalonely" Won [50]
Best Solo Artist Stella & Steve Won
Best Pop Artist Herself Won
People's Choice Awards 2020 The New Artist of 2020 Nominated [39]

Tours[edit]

Headlining[edit]

  • 2019 – Australian East Coast tour[116]
  • 2020 – New Zealand tour[41]
  • 2022 - Regional New Zealand, "Aotearoa" Tour (Rescheduled) [117][118]

Supporting[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A physical release combined both EPs, as did ARIA's chart listing.[66]
  2. ^ "Tough Guy" did not enter the NZ Artists Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 1 on the NZ Artists Heatseeker Singles Chart.[77]
  3. ^ "Evil Spider" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number four on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[80]
  4. ^ "Want Me Back" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 16 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[82]
  5. ^ "Glitter" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 40 on the US Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.[83]
  6. ^ "Find an Island" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 4 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[86]
  7. ^ "Monsta" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 10 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[89]
  8. ^ "Lownely" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles chart, but peaked at number 24 on the NZ Hot Singles chart.[95]
  9. ^ "Lownely" did not enter the NZ Artists Top 20 Singles chart, but peaked at number one on the NZ Artists Hot Singles chart.[96]
  10. ^ "Night Garden" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 4 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[97]
  11. ^ "Night Garden" did not enter the Ultratop Top 50 Singles chart, but peaked at number 26 on the Ultratip Top 50 chart.
  12. ^ "Snail" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles chart, but peaked at number 6 on the NZ Hot Singles chart.[98]
  13. ^ "Plain" did not enter the Official New Zealand Music Chart, but peaked at number 13 on the Hot 40 Singles chart.[99]
  14. ^ "Kool" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 4 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[100]
  15. ^ "Happen to Me"" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 1 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[102]

References[edit]

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  19. ^ "triple j Hottest 100 2018". ABC Australia. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
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  21. ^ Fenwick, George (11 July 2019). "Album review: Benee, Fire on Marzz". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
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  28. ^ "Conan Gray on Instagram: "HEY Y'ALL 🖤 so excited to announce that @whoisumi and @beneemusic are coming on my upcoming north american tour with me!! check out dates…"". Instagram. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
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  33. ^ "'She's blowing up!' – Kiwi singer Benee performs on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon". NZ Herald. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  34. ^ "Benee performs Supalonely on The Ellen DeGeneres Show". Otago Daily Times. 2 July 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
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  36. ^ Brandle, Lars (11 August 2020). "Benee Shares Her 'Lockdown' Song 'Snail': Stream It Now". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  37. ^ Garner, George (16 July 2020). "Benee announced as Apple Music Up Next artist". Music Week. Retrieved 17 July 2020.
  38. ^ a b Price, Joe (14 September 2020). "Joji Reveals 'Nectar' Tracklist, Drops New Merch and His Own Honey". Complex. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  39. ^ a b Grein, Paul (1 October 2020). "Justin Bieber & Megan Thee Stallion Are Top Music Nominees for 2020 E! People's Choice Awards". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
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  41. ^ a b Burgham, Lydia (17 June 2020). "Benee announces New Zealand tour, talks Jimmy Fallon performance". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  42. ^ Brandle, Lars (8 October 2020). "BENEE Launches Olive Label, Signs Muroki: Exclusive". Billboard. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  43. ^ Jenke, Tyler (15 October 2020). "BENEE Announces Long-Awaited Debut Album, 'Hey u x'". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 15 October 2020.
  44. ^ "Meet this month's #Chartbreaker, @beneemusic 📈 Written in four hours during the New Zealand pop singer's first-ever session in Los…". 8 June 2020. Retrieved 9 June 2020 – via Instagram.
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  46. ^ a b "Benee wins 2020 APRA Silver Scroll". New Zealand Herald. 28 October 2020. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  47. ^ a b Carr, Debbie (9 November 2020). "Benee, G Flip take home wins at 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards". NME. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  48. ^ a b "the 2020 mtv emas nominations are in. lady gaga & justin bieber lead the pack". MTV Australia. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  49. ^ Lim, Eddy (13 November 2020). "Watch BENEE live life as a Sim in her 'KOOL' music video". NME. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  50. ^ a b "Aotearoa Music Awards 2020: Full list of winners". Newshub. 15 November 2020. Retrieved 15 November 2020.
  51. ^ https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/300371906/benee-postpones-eightdate-regional-aotearoa-tour-for-personal-reasons
  52. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  53. ^ "ARIA Top 50 Albums Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  54. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 11 September 2021. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
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  61. ^ "Heatseekers Albums: May 23, 2020". Billboard. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
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    • For "Soaked": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
    • For "Evil Spider", "Want Me Back": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
    • For "Kua Kore He Kupu / Soaked": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 14 September 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
    • For "Find an Island": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 26 October 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
    • For "Monsta": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
    • For "Glitter": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 14 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
    • For "Supalonely": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
    • For "Night Garden": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 27 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
    • For "Snail": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 22 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
    • For "Afterthought": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 3 October 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
    • For "Plain": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 7 October 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
    • For "Kool": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
    • For "Happen to Me": "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  68. ^ Peaks on the ARIA Singles Chart:
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  78. ^ "NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 4 January 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
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  80. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
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  82. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  83. ^ "Hot Rock & Alternative Songs: June 20, 2020". Billboard. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
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  89. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 11 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
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  96. ^ "Hot NZ Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 18 May 2020. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  97. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 27 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  98. ^ "Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 22 August 2020. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  99. ^ "Hot 40 Singles". Recorded Music NZ. 9 November 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  100. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
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  102. ^ "Hot 40 Singles". Recorded Music NZ. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
  103. ^ Doria, Matt (28 October 2021). "BENEE opens up about mental health on new single 'Doesn't Matter'". NME. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
  104. ^ "Dreamer Boy & BENEE Collaborate on "Are You Letting Go?" Single". www.broadwayworld.com. 22 October 2021. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
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