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Benee
BENEE (50117380403) (cropped).jpg
Benee at Laneway Festival in February 2020
Background information
Birth name Stella Rose Bennett
Also known as Bene (2017–2018)
Born (2000-01-30) 30 January 2000 (age 24)
Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2017–present
Labels
  • Republic

Stella Rose Bennett (born 30 January 2000), better known as Benee (stylised in all caps; pronounced /ˈbɛn/) and formerly Bene, 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 platforms TikTok and YouTube. 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. She also released her third EP, Lychee, in March 2022 which charted at number 13 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart.

Life and career

2000–2017: Early life

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

2017–2018: Online beginnings and solo debut

Benee began her music career by posting covers to SoundCloud, and began making her own music in her final year of high school. 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. 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". As Bene, she earned her first career entry on the Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2018 with "Soaked" at #58.

2018–2019: Fire on Marzz and Stella & Steve

In February 2019, Benee supported Lily Allen for an Auckland show during her No Shame Tour. 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", and copyright issues. She had signed to Republic Records in early 2019, prior to this release. 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.

Benee's follow-up EP, Stella & Steve, was released on 15 November 2019. 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. This became her second song to become viral on TikTok after "Glitter" spawned a similar dance challenge in December 2019. Benee also supported American singer-songwriter Conan Gray for nine nights of his Comfort Crowd Tour of North America during December 2019. 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.

2020–2021: "Supalonely" and Hey U X

Benee's first headlining North American tour with support from American singer Remi Wolf was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 31 January 2020, Benee guested on Australian youth broadcaster Triple J's segment Like a Version, where she covered British musician James Blake's "Mile High", in addition to a performance of "Glitter". In June, the song "Supalonely" clocked over 250 million streams shortly before Benee made her television debut performing it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon alongside Gus Dapperton. She also performed the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show a month later. In July 2020, Benee released the single "Night Garden" featuring American producer Kenny Beats and British musician Bakar, before releasing the single "Snail" amid the COVID-19 lockdowns in August 2020. 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.

Benee featured on the track "Afterthought" on Japanese-Australian musician Joji's second studio album, Nectar (2020). In October 2020, Benee was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2020 People's Choice Awards. Benee performed "Supalonely" on the American talk show Late Night with Seth Meyers in October 2020. In October 2020, Benee departed on a headlining tour of New Zealand October 2020, and formed her own record label named Olive, signing Raglan reggae musician Muroki as the label's first artist. On 15 October 2020, Benee announced her debut album, Hey U X, which was released on 13 November 2020. She had prior noted that it would differ musically from her previous releases. 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". She also won Best New Zealand Act at the 2020 MTV Europe Music Awards, where she was also nominated for Best New Act and Best Push Act. On 13 November 2020, Hey U X was released, as was a music video for "Kool", which served as its fourth single. 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. ..... She announced and then rescheduled a regional tour in Aotearoa aka New Zealand in 2021 to 2022. In 2022 she announced her first World Tour.

2022–present: Lychee

Benee performing in Sydney
Benee performing in Sydney in April 2022.

On 4 February 2022, Benee announced the release of her EP Lychee and released the second single "Beach Boy", which she originally teased on her official Discord server on the 25th January 2022. On 25 March 2022, she featured on Triple J's segment Like a Version, where she covered American singer Ariana Grande's song "God Is a Woman", alongside a performance of her song "Never Ending".

Benee performed at the 22nd Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April 2023.

In May 2023 she released "Bagels", with Youthline and Josh Fountain

In June she released a song with Australian artist Mallrat called "Do It Again", the official song of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Personal life

In an interview for The New Zealand Herald, Benee revealed that she has dyslexia. She shared that she struggled with writing in school, particularly with grammar, but found songwriting to be a creative outlet where she did not have to be grammatically correct.

Discography

Studio albums

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
NZ
AUS
Hey U X 2 22
  • RMNZ: Gold

Extended plays

Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
NZ
AUS
CAN
FRA
US
US
Alt.
US
Heat.

Fire on Marzz 13 75
  • RMNZ: Platinum
Stella & Steve
  • Released: 15 November 2019
  • Label: Republic
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
19 91 150 138 5 1
  • RMNZ: Gold
Lychee
  • Released: 4 March 2022
  • Label: Republic
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
13
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums

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

Singles

As lead artist

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications shown
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
NZ
NZ
Artist
AUS
BEL
(FL)

CAN
IRE
NLD
NOR
UK
US
"Tough Guy" 2017 Non-album single
"Soaked" 2018 14 1 Fire on Marzz
"Evil Spider" 2019 3
"Want Me Back" 12
"Glitter" 3 2 20
  • RMNZ: 3× Platinum
  • ARIA: 3× Platinum
"Find an Island" 5 83
  • RMNZ: Gold
Stella & Steve
"Monsta" 18
"Supalonely"
(featuring Gus Dapperton)
2 1 6 3 10 11 9 6 18 39
  • RMNZ: 2× Platinum
  • ARIA: 3× Platinum
  • BEA: Gold
  • BPI: Silver
  • MC : 3× Platinum
  • RIAA: 2× Platinum
Stella & Steve and Hey U X
"Lownely" 2020 Non-album single
"Night Garden"
(featuring Kenny Beats and Bakar)
12 Hey U X
"Snail" 18
"Plain"
(featuring Lily Allen and Flo Milli)
17
"Kool" 18
"Happen to Me" 2021 20
"Doesn't Matter" 20 Lychee
"Beach Boy" 2022 20
"Never Ending"
"Sunday926"
(with Heavy Chest)
non-album single
"Light"
(with Finn Falcon)
"Green Honda" 2023 14 0TBA
"Don't Let Me Down"
(with Gus Dapperton)
Henge
"Bagels" 5 0TBA
"Do It Again"
(with Mallrat)
2023 FIFA Women's World Cup
"Love Cocoon"
(with Muroki)
0TBA
"—" denotes releases that did not chart, or charted on a subchart.

As featured artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot
"Help Herself"
(bbno$ with Diamond Pistols and Benee)
2021 My Oh My
"Are You Letting Go?"
(Dreamer Boy featuring Benee)
2021 34 Non-album single
"Uh Oh!"
(Sub Urban featuring Benee)
2022 37 Hive
"OTT"
(easy life featuring Benee)
Maybe in Another Life
"I'm So Happy"
(Jeremy Zucker featuring Benee)
27 Non-album single
"Fun Out of It"
(Johnny Orlando featuring Benee)
2022 All The Things That Could Go Wrong
"Lots of Nothing"
(Spacey Jane featuring Benee)
2023 34 Here Comes Everybody (Deluxe)

Promotional singles

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

Other charted songs

List of songs, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
NZ
Hot
NZ
Artist
UK
Breakers
US
Rock
&
Alt.
"Afterlife" 2019 26 Fire on Marzz
"Wishful Thinking" 27
"Kua Kore He Kupu / Soaked" 8 5 Waiata / Anthems
"Blu" 31 Stella & Steve
"Drifting"
(featuring Jack Berry)
32
"Afterthought"
(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" 29 InVersions – Deezer Originals
"Soft Side" 2022 29 Lychee
"Marry Myself" 24
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Guest appearances

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

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations received by Benee
Organization Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
APRA Music Awards 2019 Silver Scroll "Soaked" Shortlisted
2020 "Glitter" Won
MTV Europe Music Awards 2019 Best New Zealand Act Herself Nominated
2020 Won
Best New Act Nominated
Best Push Act Nominated
2023 Best New Zealand Act Pending
MTV Video Music Awards 2020 Push Best New Artist Longlisted
New Zealand Music Awards 2019 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Won
Best Pop Artist Won
Best Solo Artist Fire on Marzz Won
Single of the Year "Soaked" Won
2020 "Supalonely" Won
Best Solo Artist Stella & Steve Won
Best Pop Artist Herself Won
People's Choice Awards 2020 The New Artist of 2020 Nominated

Tours

Headlining

  • 2019 – Australian East Coast tour
  • 2020 – New Zealand tour
  • 2022 - Regional New Zealand, "Aotearoa" Tour (Rescheduled)
  • 2022 - "World tour"

Supporting

  • Lily Allen – No Shame Tour (2019; one show)
  • Conan Gray – Comfort Crowd Tour (2019; nine shows)

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Benee para niños

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