JC Bentley

By | October 28, 2016 at 2:14 am | No comments | Backstage Jazz, Columns, Feature Stories

By Patte Purcell

I just finished a 2 & a 1/2 hour interview with a vocalist that I’ve admired for a long time and asked her to perform in my next Celebrity Jam Session. What I was astounded to discover is that this British songstress is recording and writing with not only Brian McKnight, Omar, and Take 6, but also with 3 times Grammy winner, Narada Michael Walden, who holds the Guinness World Record for the most #1 Hits ever, including Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, and now JC Bentley. Wow!

The other part of our interview revolved around her spiritual beliefs and other good work she’s doing and what makes her truly happy.

JC is the daughter of a very accomplished musician. Her childhood was far from idyllic, but she started singing before she talked and started the Mavis Bennett School of Singing at age 7, studying classical music. Her teachers noticed her affinity for gospel and encouraged it. One of her idols was Omar. When she moved to London she saw him while she was at a restaurant and she ran out after him. She approached him and said, “I’d love to work with you.” He said, “Send me a demo.” She just started singing in the middle of the street. He was shocked. He told her, “Wow, you can really sing,” and took her card. The next day his manager called and asked her to come to the studio. JC and Omar wrote and recorded a duet, which he later put on his new album also featuring duets with Stevie Wonder, Angie Stone, Common and Estelle.

JC went onto release a few hit singles including “I Can Make You Love Me” and “So Alive,” which gained her more recording experience.

JC’s fearless attitude got her past Mariah Carey’s bodyguards when she broke into song, causing Mariah to stop in her tracks and ask security to leave so she could spend time hearing JC sing more!  Mariah then invited JC to her private party and spent the entire evening with her advising her on what to do next for her career.

Whew! Is that enough? No! Listen to this one. JC went to a Dion Warwick concert and was invited to the after party and saw legendary Leon Ware, who has written a huge list of songs for the world’s top recording artists including, Michael Jacksons 1st ever number 1 hit and he wrote and produced the album I Want You for Marvin Gaye. She walked up to him and told him “Mr. Ware, I know you’re going to write a song for me.” He said “you’re a singer huh?” She said, “Yes, do you want to hear me now?” And she started singing. The entire party stopped, listened to her and gave her a standing ovation. He said “Wow, you have guts,” and took her phone number. The next day she got a call from him inviting her to meet with him.  He had her listen to a song which brought her to tears. He told her, “You have 3 days to learn it. I’m putting you on all of my concerts.”

Well, Leon did write that song for JC and it’s called “Waiting In The Wings,” because that’s what he feels she’s been doing and now it’s her turn to take center stage!

JC’s career eventually brought her to the USA where she has now recorded two songs with Take 6 and written and recorded 14 songs with Brian McKnight.

She’s been taking some time off after a series of less than happy things that have happened in her life. Her house burned down, her best friend died of cancer, and her kitty who had been her constant companion for 12 years disappeared. She’s taken a very spiritual path in her life helping people with drug problems, incarcerated, or homeless, in giving them guidance in how to turn their lives around through the LAPD. She loves being able to work with others and has put music on the back burner (in her mind). 

When she told her webmaster Darryl she was going to back off on the music he told her she had to keep going. He got her to connect with Narada Michael Walden who wrote and produced practically all of Whitney Houston’s number 1 hits and produced songs for Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight and Barbra Streisand.

When his assistant played JC’s music he walked out of his office and said, “She’s another Whitney!”

So how does one human being create all of these amazing connections? That part of our interview was fascinating and we had an immediate bond in our beliefs. JC is a great believer & teacher of the “Law of Attraction.”  Through her studies she has come to the clear realization that we create our own reality. It is this grounding that enables her to help troubled individuals break the victim mentality. She shares her help readily and has been holding seminars for groups put together by the LAPD. She is helping people break the cycle and most recently the department has insisted that she be paid for her work because she is helping them so much. Her focus is not and has never been the money aspect, but for the pure good that she feels when she helps someone.

She feels that most people play the ‘I’ll be happy when’ game. They are chasing happiness and looking for it in all the wrong places. As she put it “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way!”  She also believes that you can only be truly happy when you are in service to other people.  As she mentioned being of service to other people she reflected on a particular person who has been just that on her own path; a man who believed in her from the start and has supported her all the way.  “The journey has been anything but smooth and there have been some very challenging and dark times.  However, I owe Christopher everything for never giving up on me, even when I was beginning to wonder whether I had it in me to keep going. He has been my Earth Angel and I had to pick myself up again for him. I am not yesterday’s girl; I have learned a lot of harsh lessons about the music business and the people in it. I realize now that those lessons have been the biggest blessings in some of the most ugly packaging!”

I am happy and humbled to let you know that JC Bentley will be one of our featured vocalists in the next Celebrity Jam Session. If you’d like to reach JC you can contact her via her website: www.jcbentley.com.

  • JC with Claude & Brian McKnight

  • JC with Leon Ware

  • JC with Take 6

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