Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz was born May 26, 1964 in New York City on May 26, 1964. He is the son of Roxie Roker, an actress known for her character Helen Willis in the 1970s hit television sitcom The Jeffersons, and Sy Kravitz, an NBC television news producer. His father was from a Russian Jewish family (with origins from Ukraine). His mother was of Afro-Bahamian and African-American descent, and was from a Christian family.
Kravitz grew up spending weekdays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with his parents, attending P.S.6 for elementary school, and weekends at his grandmother Bessie (Mitchell) Roker’s house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Kravitz was named after his uncle, Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz, who was killed in action in the Korean War at the age of 20, while defending against a Chinese attack and saving most of his platoon.
Kravitz is the second cousin of television weather presenter Al Roker. During his early years, Kravitz did not grow up in a religious environment. After a spiritual experience when he was thirteen, he started attending church, becoming a non-denominational Christian.
Kravitz began banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, playing them as drums at the age of three. At the age of five, he wanted to be a musician. He began playing the drums and soon added guitar. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, jazz, classical, opera, gospel, and blues.
Around the age of seven, he saw The Jackson 5 perform at Madison Square Garden, which became his favorite group. His father, who was also a jazz promoter, was friends with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, Miles Davis and other jazz greats.
He was exposed to the soul music of Motown, Stax, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers and Gamble and Huff growing up who were key influences on his musical style. Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked. His mother encouraged his dreams of pursuing music.
In 1974, the Kravitz family relocated to Los Angeles when Kravitz’s mother landed her role on The Jeffersons. At his mother’s urging, Kravitz joined the California Boys Choir for three years, where he performed a classical repertoire, and sang with the Metropolitan Opera. He took part in Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl. It was in Los Angeles that Kravitz was first introduced to rock music, listening to Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Cream, and The Who.
In 1978, Kravitz was accepted into the school’s well-respected music program. He taught himself to play piano and bass, and made friends with Zoro who would later become his long-time collaborator. Kravitz wanted to be a session musician. He also appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time.
In 1985, Kravitz’s parents divorced, which had a profound impact on him. His relationship with his father became extremely strained. Kravitz focused on his music to help him get through this period. That year, Kravitz met actress Lisa Bonet backstage at a New Edition concert. Bonet worked on The Cosby Show, the number one rated show on television. They were close friends for two years before falling in love. Like Kravitz, Bonet is half African American and half Russian Jewish. Kravitz moved back to New York City where The Cosby Show was produced in 1987, moving in with then girlfriend Bonet.
Kravitz and Bonet eloped to be married on November 16, 1987, her 20th birthday, in a Las Vegas ceremony. Kravitz, still known as Romeo Blue at the time, suddenly found himself in the headlines of tabloid newspapers. They had a daughter, Zoë Isabella Kravitz, born on December 1, 1988. Kravitz and Bonet divorced in 1993. He then dated French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis until 1997. In 2001, he began dating model Adriana Lima. In 2002, the couple was engaged, but less than a year later, the engagement was called off.
Kravitz is now an American rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor and arranger, whose “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, soul, R&B, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often played all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and percussion himself when recording. He is known for his elaborate stage performances and music videos.
He won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row from 1999 to 2002, breaking the record for most wins in that category as well as setting the record for most consecutive wins in one category by a male. He has been nominated for and won other awards, including American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Radio Music Awards, BRIT Awards and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards. On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He plays the role of Cinna in the Hunger Games film series.
Kravitz released his début album Let Love Rule on September 6, 1989 after record labels were still telling him his music wasn’t “black enough” or “white enough,” Kravitz decided to record an album on his own.
This album was a combination of rock and funk with a general 1960s vibe. Music critics were mixed: some felt Kravitz was a gifted new artist, others felt he was overpowered by his musical influences. The album was a moderate success in the United States, but became an instant hit outside of the US, especially in Europe.
Lisa Bonet directed the debut music video for the title track, “Let Love Rule.” Stephen Smith signed Kravitz with talent booking agency CAA, who soon were fielding offers for Kravitz, first on a club tour, and then in opening slots for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan and Da
In 1990, Kravitz produced the song “Justify My Love” for Madonnavid Bowie. In 1991, Kravitz produced the self-titled album Vanessa Paradis for French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis. In 1993, Kravitz wrote “Line Up” for Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, and appeared on Mick Jagger‘s solo album, Wandering Spirit, in a cover of the Bill Withers soul classic “Use Me“, and played guitar on the title track of David Bowie‘s The Buddha of Suburbia.
In 1993, Are You Gonna Go My Way was released, reaching number 12 on the Billboard 200 and Kravitz earned a BRIT Award for best international male artist in 1994. The title track won a MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video for the video produced by Mark Romanek, in which Kravitz slung his dreadlocks and wore high-heeled platform boots.
In 1994, Kravitz recorded a funk-rock version of the song “Deuce,” for the KISS cover album KISS My Ass: Classic KISS Regrooved. The track featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and background vocals. This song was one of three radio singles from the album, and was also the album’s lead-off track.
In 1995, Lenny Kravitz released the album Circus, which went to number 10 on the Billboard chart on the back of his past achievement. However, the album only had two hit singles: “Rock and Roll Is Dead” and “Can’t Get You Off My Mind.”
Kravitz released a Greatest Hits album in 2000. It proved to be his most successful album, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 and selling nearly 11 million copies worldwide and ultimately becoming one of the most commercially successful albums of the decade. The single “Again” earned him his third consecutive Grammy for the Best Male Rock Vocal in the Grammy Awards of 2001 and peaked at number 4 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Kravitz also co-wrote the song “God Gave Me Everything” with Mick Jagger in this period, appearing on Jagger’s 2001 solo album Goddess in the Doorway and in the film Being Mick.
Kravitz released his sixth album Lenny in October 2001. The album was recorded in Miami. Kravitz wrote the song “Bank Robber Man” after the Miami Police Department detained and cuffed him while walking to the gym with his trainer because police stated that he matched the description of a bank robber.
In early 2003, Kravitz released the track “We Want Peace” as a download-only track as a protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he performed this alongside famous Iraqi singer Kazem Al Saher at Rock The Vote. The track reached #1 on the world internet download charts and MP3.com download chart. Kravitz also appeared on Unity, the official album of the 2004 Athens Olympics, and performed a cover of “Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)” on the album Power of Soul: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
In 2007, Kravitz released a version of “Cold Turkey” by John Lennon on the charity CD Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Kravitz also spent time recording his latest album, It Is Time for a Love Revolution, released February 5, 2008.
In May 2009, a 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of “Let Love Rule” was released worldwide by Virgin. The double disk includes a booklet with rare photos, and 18 additional demos, bonus tracks and live recordings. Kravitz launched a LLR(20) tour of Europe and the United States in support of the re-release.
Kravitz’s next album, tentatively titled Funk, was tentatively re-titled Negrophilia and was due out sometime in 2010. This is believed to be a project that Kravitz has been working on since 1997.
On May 23, 2011, Lionsgate announced that Kravitz would be joining the cast and crew of The Hunger Games, as Katniss’ creative stylist, Cinna. The movie was released on March 23, 2012.
On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was honored with one of the highest cultural awards in France when he was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by French cultural minister Frederic Mitterrand in Paris. Kravitz stated he was “particularly touched” to receive the award in France as his success in the country pre-dated his success in the United States and still enjoys great record sales in the country today. Kravitz joins other American recipients such as Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, and Bob Dylan.
On September 23, 2014 Lenny Kravitz released his tenth studio album Strut on his own Roxie Records via Kobalt Label Services. On June 13 he announced that “The Chamber” will be the album’s first single. The single was released on June 24. On August 6 The song “Sex” was the album’s second single.
Kravitz identifies himself as a Christian in a religious sense, “through choice but I’m also a Jew, it’s all the same to me”. During another interview Kravitz stated, “I’m half Jewish, I’m half black, I look in-between.” He also notes that spirituality “has been an important issue in my growth”, given his upbringing by parents of different faiths. Such spirituality is prominently featured in many of his songs, such as the lyrics on his album Baptism, and having his back inscribed with a tattoo stating, “My Heart Belongs to Jesus Christ.”
As late as 2011, Kravitz stated that his 2005 religious commitment to remain celibate until remarriage was unchanged.
Kravitz not only do you have talent but you also have wisdom; you are unlike any other artist I’ve researched……………
“UNIQUE, DIFFERENT, SEXY, SUCCESSFUL AND A CHRISTIAN”
And that’s what makes you who you are!!!! And also what makes you the Fanzyflaminfro Man Candy Monday Feature!!!!