Kravitz in 2013
Leonard Albert Kravitz
May 26, 1964
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
|Other names||Romeo Blue|
(m. 1987; div. 1993)
Leonard Albert Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. His style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, pop, folk, and ballads.
Kravitz 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 and 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. He was also ranked at No. 93 on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". He was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2011, and has played Cinna in the Hunger Games film series. In his career, Kravitz has sold over 40 million albums worldwide.
Leonard Albert Kravitz was born in Manhattan, the only child of actress Roxie Roker (1929–1995) and NBC television news producer Sy Kravitz (1924–2005). His mother came from a Christian family of African-American and Bahamian descent. His father descended from Russian Jews and Ukrainian Jews,[a] with one of his great-grandfathers hailing from Kyiv. Through his mother, Kravitz is a second cousin of television weather presenter Al Roker as their grandfathers were brothers. During his early years, Kravitz did not grow up in a religious environment. After a spiritual experience when he was 13, he started attending church and later became a non-denominational Christian. Kravitz's father was a Green Beret and his uncle, Leonard M. Kravitz, was a Private First Class. Kravitz would be named after Leonard M, who was killed in action in the Korean War at the age of 19 while defending against a Chinese attack, saving most of his platoon in the process. Leonard M. was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross but was denied the Medal of Honor. In 2014, he received the Medal of Honor in a ceremony that awarded it to 24 servicemen who were passed over because of their ethnicity. Kravitz grew up spending weekdays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his parents, attending P.S. 6 for elementary school, and spending weekends at his grandmother Bessie's house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Kravitz began banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, playing them as drums at the age of three. He decided that he wanted to be a musician at the age of five. He began playing the drums and soon added guitar. He grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, jazz, classical, opera, gospel, and blues. He said, "My parents were very supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, and they took me to a lot of shows." Around the age of seven, he saw The Jacksons perform at Madison Square Garden, and they became his favorite performers. 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; Ellington even played "Happy Birthday" for him on his fifth birthday. He listened 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 while growing up, which influenced his musical style. Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked, and she encouraged his dreams of pursuing music.
In 1974, Kravitz relocated to Los Angeles with his parents when his mother landed her role on The Jeffersons. At his mother's urging, he 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 introduced to rock music, listening to The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Kiss, Pink Floyd, and The Who, and he said he was "attracted to the cool style, the girls, the rock 'n' roll lifestyle." His other musical influences at the time included Fela Kuti, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Pharoah Sanders, and Miles Davis. Later influences came in the form of John Lennon and Bob Marley. Kravitz attended Beverly Hills High School, where he was classmates with Maria McKee, Nicolas Cage, and Slash. 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, and also appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time. His parents divorced in 1985, which had a profound impact on him. His relationship with his father became very strained, and he focused on his music to help him get through this period.
1985–1990: Virgin Records and career debut
With record labels still telling him his music was not "black enough" or "white enough," Kravitz decided to record an album on his own. Kravitz had met recording engineer/keyboardist/bassist Henry Hirsch in 1985 when recording a demo at his Hoboken, New Jersey recording studio. The two shared an interest in using real instruments and vintage recording equipment, as well as a love of R&B, jazz, and rock. Kravitz would go on to collaborate with Hirsch on most of his albums. Kravitz began working on his debut album with Hirsch over the next year and a half, with Kravitz's father paying for the studio time. Kravitz met saxophonist Karl Denson and invited him to play on the song, "Let Love Rule." Kravitz was so impressed with his playing that Denson played on much of the album. Denson toured with Kravitz for the next five years.
In October 1988, after completing most of the recording, Kravitz approached friend Stephen Elvis Smith who had served as the Music Supervisor on Lisa Bonet's spin-off of The Cosby Show, A Different World. Smith had also worked with Kravitz' mother, on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. Kravitz urged Smith to manage his career and assist him in finding a record deal. In less than a month of shopping the recordings, five labels (Warner Bros, Elektra, Geffen, Capitol and Virgin) were in a bidding war for Kravitz. Eventually a deal was made with Virgin Records in January 1989, and signed by Virgin A&R executive Nancy Jeffries. The label was excited about the music he was making, music inspired by his relationship with wife Bonet and their new daughter, Zoe. On Smith's urging, Kravitz dropped the name Romeo Blue and reclaimed the Lenny Kravitz moniker. About his time as Romeo Blue, Kravitz said, "Ultimately, it got me back to myself. And when I finally did accept myself for myself, music started flowing out of me."
Kravitz released his début album Let Love Rule in 1989, a combination of rock and funk with a 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 David Bowie. Having played essentially all of the instruments on the album, Kravitz had to quickly assemble a touring band to support the Let Love Rule release. They included a childhood friend, Zoro on drums (formerly of Bobby Brown's band), Adam Widoff (guitar), Lebron Scott (bass guitar, recruited from Curtis Mayfield's band after seeing them perform in a NYC club), Kenneth Crouch (keyboards) and Karl Denson on saxophone. 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.
1991–2001: Popularity established
In 1990, Kravitz produced the song "Justify My Love" for Madonna, which he co-wrote with Ingrid Chavez. The song, which appeared on her greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection and created controversy because of its explicit video, went to number 1 for two consecutive weeks. When MTV banned the video, the video was quickly made available for sale at record stores, and immediately sold over 500,000 copies. Kravitz separated from Lisa Bonet in 1991, amid rumors of an affair between him and Madonna. Kravitz has denied any infidelity. Kravitz and Bonet divorced in 1993. In 1991, Kravitz produced the self-titled album Vanessa Paradis for French singer and actress Vanessa Paradis. He played most of the instruments and co-wrote most of the songs on the album. He also released his second album, Mama Said, which was his first album to reach the Top 40. The songs on the album were about Bonet and dedicated to her, documenting his depression over their breakup. Kravitz's biggest single yet, "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over," went to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single "Always on the Run," a tribute to his mother, featured Slash on guitar. "Stand by My Woman" and "What Goes Around Comes Around" followed. Sean Lennon co-wrote and played piano on the song "All I Ever Wanted."
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. That year Kravitz also got to work with idols Al Green and Curtis Mayfield. 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. During the presentation of the MTV Video Music Awards, he performed the song with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin on bass. Several singles from the album would follow, including "Believe," "Is There Any Love In Your Heart," and "Heaven Help/Spinning Around Over You." This album was the first to feature guitarist Craig Ross, who has also played on all his subsequent albums. One song, "Eleutheria," was influenced by the island Eleuthera in The Bahamas where Kravitz built a house and recording studio. In 1993, he also released the EP Spinning Around Over You, which included four live tracks from his "Universal Love Tour." A feature documentary about his 1994 tour entitled Alive from Planet Earth was directed by Doug Nichol and released.
In 1994, Kravitz recorded "Main Squeeze" with Teena Marie from her "Passion Play" CD. Lenny also made a video to pay tribute to Teena Marie when she suddenly died on December 26, 2010. Lenny 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. Roxie Roker, Kravitz's mother, died in California on December 2, 1995, of breast cancer at the age of 66. 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."
With 5 (1998), Kravitz embraced digital technology such as Pro Tools and samplers for the first time. Recorded in both his own New York City carriage house, and Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas, Kravitz employed engineer/producer Terry Manning to handle the recording duties. 5 introduced his music to an even wider audience thanks to the hit single "Fly Away" being featured prominently in both car manufacturer and airline commercials. 5 would reach number 28 on the Billboard 200, with "Fly Away" peaking at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100, topping both the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts, and also topping the charts in Iceland and the United Kingdom. He would win the first of his four consecutive Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1999. Other hits from the album included "If You Can't Say No", that was also remixed by dance producer Brian Transeau, and "I Belong to You." For the "I Belong to You" video Lenny can be seen without his signature dreadlocks. In 1999 he produced and sang with Cree Summer on her solo album Street Faërie.
His cover version of The Guess Who's hit "American Woman" won him another Grammy at the Grammy Awards of 2000 and helped The Guess Who's song reach a new audience. Kravitz's version of the song originally came from the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and was added to 5 as a bonus track in 1999. Kravitz worked on two songs for Michael Jackson's Invincible album released in 2001; a snippet of "Another Day" was leaked, and the full version was officially released on the album Michael in 2010.
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. In 2001, Kravitz participated in a benefit auction for the Red Hot Organization, in conjunction with Amazon.com to increase public AIDS awareness, which ran from February 28 until April 11, 2001. The event featured rare RHO memorabilia and the work of Rolling Stone photographer Mark Seliger.
2001–2005: Lenny and Baptism
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. Kravitz did not have any identification with him at the time and the police on the scene did not believe that he was indeed Lenny Kravitz. The bank teller who was robbed was then brought to the scene and said Kravitz was not the bank robber. Miami Police later sent officers to Kravitz's home to apologize for the detention. When asked if he thought the incident was a case of racial profiling, Kravitz said he was not sure although some of the lyrics in the song suggest otherwise. The first single from the album, "Dig In," went to number 1 in Argentina and the top 10 in Italy and Portugal. The video for "Dig In" was originally supposed to be shot at the top of the Empire State Building on September 12, 2001 but the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 caused the location to be moved. The video was later shot off the coast of Miami. He won his fourth Grammy in 2002. "Stillness of Heart," "Believe in Me," and "If I Could Fall In Love" were subsequent singles from the album.
Kravitz was the subject of a photo book by former chief photographer for Rolling Stone, Mark Seliger. Published in November 2001, Seliger captures Kravitz on tour, with family, with friends and in posed portraits. Jay-Z invited Kravitz to appear on the track "Guns and Roses" on his 2002 The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse. Kravitz would also join P. Diddy, Pharrell and Loon on the track "Show Me Your Soul" from the Bad Boys II Soundtrack. In September 2002, Kravitz appeared alongside other rock stars in the episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation" of The Simpsons. 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.
Kravitz's seventh album Baptism was released in May 2004. The first single was "Where Are We Runnin'?" The single "California" failed to be commercially successful, but "Storm", featuring Jay-Z, reached the charts. "Calling All Angels" was successful in various countries and a huge hit in Brazil, however it was "Lady" that became the album's surprise hit, making the US Top 30 and propelling Baptism to gold status. Also in 2004, he appeared on N.E.R.D's album Fly or Die. From March 2005, Kravitz toured all over the world with the tour Electric Church, which ended at the Brixton Academy, London in July 2005. Kravitz served as the opening act for Aerosmith who are long-term friends of Kravitz on their fall 2005 tour. The tour began on October 30 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The night before that tour started, October 29, 2005, Lenny's father, TV producer Seymour "Sy" Kravitz, died. During that first show, Lenny broke the news to the stunned crowd and stated it was not a time to be sad, but rather a time to celebrate because he is now in Heaven. Lenny then dedicated Let Love Rule to his father. That tour was so successful that it was extended through February 25, 2006 and ended in Anaheim, California.
2006–2009: Live Earth, charity work, and It Is Time for a Love Revolution
In January 2006, Kravitz contributed "Breathe" to absoluttracks, a project sponsored by Absolut Vodka. This song was re-mixed by ten musical producers and distributed via the internet. Kravitz appeared in the audience of Madonna's Confessions Tour (2006) during numerous shows. He later joined Madonna live on stage to play guitar on the song, "I Love New York," at the last of four Paris shows. Kravitz founded a design firm named Kravitz Design, stating if he hadn't been a musician he would have been a designer. Kravitz Design, focused on interior and furniture design, has designed residential spaces, as well as a chandelier for the crystal company Swarovski, named "Casino Royale."
On July 7, 2007, Kravitz performed at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro, making him one of three major international rock stars to perform two huge free concerts at the world-famous Copacabana Beach along with Macy Gray and the Rolling Stones. Kravitz had already played there on March 21, 2005, drawing 300,000 people on a concert of his own. The Live Earth concert, with eight other acts on the bill, including Pharrell and Macy Gray had an audience of 400,000 on the beach. Also 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. On September 25, 2007, the Fats Domino tribute album "Goin' Home ; A Tribute To Fats Domino" was released. Kravitz was on the song "Whole Lotta Lovin'" along with Rebirth Brass Band, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, and Maceo Parker.
Kravitz performed at the Grey Cup halftime show in Toronto at the Rogers Centre on November 25, 2007, where the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23–19. The original video for "I'll Be Waiting" was shot in Central Park in New York City with Marc Webb directing but that video was later shelved and a new version, which Kravitz co-directed with Philip Andelman, was filmed in Lenny's New York City recording studio. The video premiered on VH1's Top 20 Countdown at number 3. On January 17, 2008, Kravitz embarked on a 9 city mini-tour to promote his new album It Is Time for a Love Revolution. The tour started in Santa Monica, California and ended in New York City on February 1. The tour was done in association with Myspace and called the "Get on the Bus" tour. At each stop on the tour, they would pick up one contest winner and their guest and they rode on the "Love Revolution" bus until the end of the tour. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, a close friend of Lenny's would appear at The Orpheum Theater in Boston. The New York City winner, Tyrone Good was presented a train ticket from Penn Station to travel to Philadelphia and rode with the tour the rest of the way starting in Philadelphia (The Electric Factory), Boston (The Orpheum Theater), and finally New York City (The Hammerstein Ballroom). Ryan Neuerburg, the San Francisco winner, embarked on almost the entire tour with his father, Tom Neuerburg. The winners were featured in the YRB February Edition alongside Lenny Kravitz in a magazine pull-out. The photo shoot took place at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on stage. The winner's pull out was featured in another issue of YRB which had Lil' Wayne on the cover.
On February 11, 2008, Kravitz was admitted to Miami Hospital suffering from severe bronchitis. He had been suffering from a series of severe respiratory tract infections since mid-January, and the illness developed into bronchitis. Kravitz's illness had forced him to postpone Canadian dates and his trip to Europe to promote his album It Is Time for a Love Revolution. On March 19, 2008 he canceled the South American part of his tour due to the same illness. The decision affected planned concerts in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. In Argentina Kravitz had a performance in the biggest rock festival there, Quilmes Rock Fest. On July 15, 2008, Lenny was honored in Milan, Italy with the key to the city in a special toast ceremony for his work with the United Nations Millennium Campaign to end world poverty.
Kravitz made his feature film acting debut in Precious which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009. During the Italian leg of his 53 date Let Love Rule (20)09 European tour, Kravitz had been instructed to cancel some shows due to a bad bout of bronchitis. Under strict orders from his doctor, the singer was told to rest so that he could make a quick recovery and return to the stage for the rest of his tour. Shows scheduled for Rome on June 5 and Brescia on June 17 were postponed to late July.
2009–2011: U2 tour and Black and White America
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. Some of the original tracks for Funk were recorded while he was in New Orleans at Allen Toussaint's studio while taking a break for several months from recording in New York City. A video on Kravitz's Twitter page shows him working on one of the songs for the album, called "Super Love", in his GTS studios in the Bahamas. Another video shows him working on another track titled "Life Ain't Never Been Better Than It Is Now" in his GTS Studios. On his Twitter page, Kravitz said that the album title was Negrophilia but then "felt like something else". Eventually, the album was later named Black and White America. The album was released on August 22, 2011 in Europe and August 30, 2011 in the U.S.[needs update]
On February 20, 2011, the first single "Come on Get It" was released. On June 6, 2011, the second single "Stand" was released. It was announced that Kravitz would be supporting U2 on their 360 Tour on the second North American leg in 2010. Kravitz agreed to support them for four shows. Though the shows were postponed until 2011, Kravitz remained committed for four of the shows.[needs update] In June 2010 it was announced that Kravitz would guest star on an episode of the upcoming season of Entourage.
In 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 joined other American recipients such as Martin Scorsese, George Clooney, and Bob Dylan. On February 26, 2012, he performed at the Daytona International Speedway (several songs carried live on Fox) for the Daytona 500, the opening race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. A sample of "Are You Gonna Go My Way" was used in American singer Chris Willis's single "Too Much In Love", released on August 16, 2011.
2012–present: The Hunger Games films, Super Bowl performance, and further albums
Lenny Kravitz played the part of Katniss' creative stylist, Cinna, in the first two Hunger Games films, The Hunger Games released on March 23, 2012 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire released on November 22, 2013.
In 2014 Lenny Kravitz released his tenth studio album Strut on his own Roxie Records via Kobalt Label Services. In 2015, Kravitz performed alongside Katy Perry at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show.
In 2015, during a guitar solo at a concert in Stockholm, Kravitz squatted down, causing his leather pants to rip. Because Kravitz was not wearing underpants, his genitals were briefly exposed to the audience. He did not face any legal repercussions from the incident.
As a designer, Kravitz launched a furniture collection in partnership with CB2 in 2015.
In 2015 he became a furniture designer for the first time ever launching a collection of furniture products marketed under the label cb2 x kravitz design through retailer CB2. The collection was apparently inspired by the 70s and by the work of Italian designer Gabriella Crespi.
In 2016 he guest starred on the FX TV show Better Things playing the part of Mel Trueblood. In 2017 he earned a spot on the Fox Television series Star playing the part of Roland Crane in his first recurring television role.
In April 2018, Kravitz signed with BMG Rights Management for a new worldwide publishing music deal to go with his new album Raise Vibration, released in September 2018. BMG had acquired Kravitz's music publishing rights in 2013, as part of Virgin Music Publishing.
Photography and collaboration with Leica
Kravitz has partnered with Leica on two occasions. In 2015 a Leica M-P edition titled "The Correspondent", and again in 2019 with a Monochrom edition titled "Drifter." The 2019 collaboration also included a gallery of his own work, which was unveiled on May 24, 2019 and was on display until August 25 of 2019 in the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar Germany.
Kravitz Design Inc. is a New York City-based company founded by Kravitz in 2003. Kravitz Design focuses on commercial, residential and product creative direction and design. Among its clients are the Morgans Hotel Group, Swarovski Crystal, and The Setai Group. Morgans Hotel Group In 2010, Kravitz Design Inc. collaborated with Flavor Paper wallpaper on the Tropicalismo Collection, a line inspired by Brazil's Tropicalia art movement of the late 1960s.
Swarovski selected Kravitz Design Inc. in 2005 and 2006 to participate in their Crystal Palace Collection. Kravitz Design Inc. has also envisioned a luxury recording studio for The Setai Resort and Residences in Miami Beach, New York, Paris, and New Orleans.
In 1985, Kravitz met Cosby Show actress Lisa Bonet backstage at a New Edition concert in California. They were close friends for two years before beginning a relationship. In 1987 Kravitz moved back to New York City, where The Cosby Show was produced to move in with Bonet. They eloped to be married in a Las Vegas ceremony on November 16, 1987, her 20th birthday. Kravitz, still known as Romeo Blue at the time, suddenly found himself in the headlines of tabloids. He and Bonet had a daughter, Zoë Isabella Kravitz, on December 1, 1988, who became an actress, singer and model. Kravitz and Bonet separated in 1991. They divorced amicably in 1993.
Kravitz dated French singer and model Vanessa Paradis from 1992 to 1996. He began dating Brazilian model Adriana Lima in 2001, and they lived together before becoming engaged in 2002. The engagement was called off in April 2003. Lima was featured in the music video for Kravitz's 2002 single "Yesterday Is Gone (My Dear Kay)". He then briefly dated and was engaged to Australian actress Nicole Kidman from 2003 to 2004.
Kravitz identifies himself as a Christian in a religious sense "through choice", but states, "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 [his] 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; however, in a 2014 interview with Men's Health, he reconsidered his previous stance.
Kravitz is a member of the Canadian charity Artists Against Racism, and worked with them on a radio PSA.
- Let Love Rule (1989)
- Mama Said (1991)
- Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993)
- Circus (1995)
- 5 (1998)
- Lenny (2001)
- Baptism (2004)
- It Is Time for a Love Revolution (2008)
- Black and White America (2011)
- Strut (2014)
- Raise Vibration (2018)
|1998||The Rugrats Movie||Newborn Baby (voice)||Nominated—Kids Choice Award for Best Cameo Voice in Animated Film|
|2007||The Diving Bell and the Butterfly||Himself||Cameo role|
|2009||Precious||Nurse John||Supporting role|
Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Cast
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
|2012||The Hunger Games||Cinna||Supporting role|
|The World Is Watching: Making the Hunger Games||Himself||Documentary|
|2013||The Butler||James Holloway||Supporting role|
|The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||Cinna||Supporting role|
|2014||Holy Ghost||Himself||Guest star|
|2016||Better Things||Mel Trueblood||Guest star|
|Star||Roland Crane||Recurring role|
|2001||Being Mick||Himself||Supporting role|
|2002||The Simpsons||Himself||Episode: "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation"|
Episode: "Capítulo 1"
Episode: "Tequila and Coke"
|2016||Better Things||Mel Trueblood||Guest star|
|Star||Roland Crane||Recurring role|
- Let Love Rule Tour (1990)
- There Is Only One Truth Tour (1991)
- Universal Love Tour (1993)
- Circus Tour (1995–96)
- The Freedom Tour (1998–99)
- Lenny Tour (2002)
- The Baptism Tour (2004)
- Celebration Tour (2005)
- Electric Church Tour: One Night Only (2005)
- Get On The Bus Mini-Tour (2008)
- Love Revolution Tour (2008)
- LLR 20(09) Tour (2009)
- Black and White Tour (2011)
- Strut Tour (2014–15)
- Raise Vibration Tour (2018–19)
- Here To Love Tour (2020)
Awards and nominations
Grammy awards and nominations
|1994||Best Rock Song||"Are You Gonna Go My Way"||Nominated|
|Best Male Rock Vocal Performance||Nominated|
|1996||"Rock and Roll Is Dead"||Nominated|
|Best Rock Song||Nominated|
|2002||Best Male Rock Vocal Performance||"Dig In"||Won|
|2004||"If I Could Fall In Love"||Nominated|
Billboard Music Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1993||"Are You Gonna Go My Way"||Top Album Rock Track||Nominated|
|Himself||Top Album Rock Tracks Artist||Nominated|
|Top Modern Rock Tracks Artist||Nominated|
|Top Hot 100 Artist - Male||Nominated|
|"Fly Away"||Top Mainstream Rock Track||Nominated|
|2001||Himself||Top Male Artist||Nominated|
|Top Billboard 200 Artist - Male||Nominated|
Other awards and nominations
|1990||MTV Video Music Awards||Best New Artist in a Video||"Let Love Rule"||Nominated|
|1991||Pollstar Concert Industry Awards||Club Tour of the Year||Let Love Rule Tour||Nominated|
|1993||MTV Video Music Awards||Best Male Video||"Are You Gonna Go My Way"||Won|
|Best Art Direction||Nominated|
|1994||Brit Awards||International Male Solo Artist||Himself||Won|
|Pollstar Concert Industry Awards||Small Hall Tour of the Year||Universal Love Tour||Nominated|
|Most Creative Stage Production||Nominated|
|1995||MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Male||Himself||Nominated|
|1998||VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards||Most Fashionable Artist, Male||Won|
|Fryderyk||Best Foreign Album||5||Nominated|
|Kids Choice Awards||Best Cameo Voice in Animated Film||The Rugrats Movie||Nominated|
|1999||MTV Video Music Awards||Best Male Video||"Fly Away"||Nominated|
|Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Rock||Himself||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Video Awards||FAN.tastic Video||"Fly Away"||Won|
|Pollstar Concert Industry Awards||Small Hall Tour of the Year||The Freedom Tour||Nominated|
|VH1 Fashion Awards||Most Fashionable Artist, Male||Himself||Nominated|
|Online Music Awards||Favorite Male Artist||Nominated|
|2000||MVPA Awards||Best Pop Video||"American Woman"||Nominated|
|Best Rock Video||Nominated|
|Soundtrack Video of the Year||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Male Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Male Video||"Again"||Nominated|
|Radio Music Awards||Artist of the Year/Pop Alternative Radio||Himself||Won|
|Blockbuster Entertainment Awards||Favorite Male Artist – Rock||Won|
|My VH1 Awards||Favorite Male Artist||Won|
|2002||American Music Awards||Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist||Won|
|Microsoft Windows Media Innovation Awards||Microsoft Windows Media Innovation Award||Won|
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best Live Act||Nominated|
|2003||Lunas del Auditorio||Best Foreign Rock Artist||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Fashion Icon: Male||Nominated|
|2004||BDSCertified Spin Awards||50,000 Spins||"Lady"||Won|
|2005||Lunas del Auditorio||Best Foreign Rock Artist||Himself||Won|
|2006||ASCAP Pop Awards||Most Performed Song||"Lady"||Won|
|2008||MVPA Awards||Best Editing||"I'll Be Waiting"||Nominated|
|"Love Love Love"||Nominated|
|2009||ECHO awards||Best International Male Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|NRJ Music Awards||International Male Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Best Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Precious||Nominated|
|Black Reel Awards||Best Ensemble||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|Boston Society of Film Critics Awards||Best Cast||Won|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||Nominated|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Ensemble||Nominated|
|2010||D&AD Awards||Music Video||"Let Love Rule" (Justice Remix)||Wood Pencil|
|2012||DJ Awards||Best Ibiza Live Performance||Himself||Won|
|MTV Movie Awards||Best Cast||The Hunger Games||Nominated|
|2013||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||Best Acting Ensemble||The Butler||Nominated|
|Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|DJ Awards||Best Ibiza Live Performance||Himself||Won|
|2014||NRJ Music Awards||NRJ Award of Honor||Won|
|2015||UK Music Video Awards||Best Live Music Coverage||"Just Let Go"||Won|
|2018||Best Rock Video - International||"Low"||Nominated|
|Lunas del Auditorio||Best Foreign Rock Artist||Himself||Nominated|
|2019||GAFFA-Prisen Awards||Best International Artist||Nominated|
|MTV Video Music Awards||Best Rock Video||"Low"||Nominated|
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Modern Rock chart
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
- List of artists who reached number one on the Australian singles chart
- List of blues musicians
- List of Gibson players
- List of Number 1 albums from the 1990s (UK)
- List of Number 1 singles from the 1990s (UK)
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- List of Saturday Night Live hosts and musical guests
- See the Kravits surname.
- "GRAMMY Award Results for Lenny Kravitz". Grammy.com. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
- "VH1 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". YouTube. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- "Famous birthdays for May 26: Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Nicks". UPI. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- Saval, Malina (October 26, 2018). "Lenny Kravitz: 'I Never Wanted to Be a Star; I Wanted to Be a Musician'". Variety. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Simon, Scott (February 12, 2005). "Lenny Kravitz Takes Spiritual Turn on 'Baptism'". NPR. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- Heawood, Sophie (January 25, 2008). "The face". The Times. London. Retrieved May 7, 2010.
- Marlow Stern (August 29, 2011). "Lenny Kravitz's 'Black & White' Album: Funk, Soul & R&B, With Jay-Z". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
- "Lenny Kravitz: Mr Love". The Independent. May 7, 2004. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- Heath, Chris (June 16, 2009). "Lenny Kravitz interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Lenny Kravitz Considers the Unforgettable People Who've Helped Color His World". BlackBook. August 29, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
Lenny Kravitz: Later my mother told me, "Look, I'm African-American and your father is a Russian Jew, and you should be proud of both sides, neither more than the other."
- "Lenny Kravitz On Race, 'Raise Vibration' And Duetting With Aretha Franklin". NPR. August 22, 2018. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
Lenny Kravitz: "Well, Brooklyn was just - I had Jewish grandparents"
- Samuels, Allison (January 9, 2002). "CROSSING OVER". Newsweek. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Weisholtz, Drew (October 5, 2020). "Al Roker reunites with distant cousin Lenny Kravitz". Today.com. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
- "Lenny Kravitz gives Arch Digest a look inside his Brazil home". Today. April 18, 2019. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
- "Kravitz Sets The Record Straight". Illawarra Mercury. May 24, 2004. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- Harrison, Donald H. (April 13, 2001). "Did anti-Semitism block medal for rocker's namesake?". San Diego Jewish Press-Heritage. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- "Private First Class Leonard M. Kravitz | Valor 24 | Medal of Honor | The United States Army". Army.mil. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Hosley, Steve (October 15, 2014). "Spotlight: Lenny Kravitz". Michigan Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 22, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- Henderson. (2002).
- Hodgkinson, Will (July 5, 2002). "Home entertainment: Lenny Kravitz Archived January 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine". The Guardian.
- Phull, Hardeep (September 27, 2014). "Lenny Kravitz: My childhood New York". New York Post. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
Lenny Kravitz: "It was my fifth birthday and my parents took me to see Duke Ellington here. At the sound check, I sat on his lap and during the show, he and his band played ‘Happy Birthday’ to me."
- Norment, Lynn (June 1994). "Lenny Kravitz: brother with a different beat – musician". Ebony. Retrieved on August 19, 2007.
- Hosley, Steve (November 20, 2012). "NEW AGAIN: LENNY KRAVITZ". Interview Magazine. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
Lenny Kravitz: "My dad was a producer on the side. I think he did one of Patti Austin’s first recordings, when she was around 13 years old. My dad used to take me to jazz concerts. I got to sit on Duke Ellington’s lap when he played."
- Evans, Mia "The Faith of Zoro Archived May 30, 2016, at the Wayback Machine". CBN.com. Retrieved on March 13, 2007.
- «C’est chez vous que tout a commencé pour ma carrière, raconte-t-il. J’ai donné un concert aux Transmusicales de Rennes en 1989. Le lendemain, la presse était extatique. Ils avaient, en toute modestie, découvert un génie»
- Hosley, Steve (November 20, 2012). "NEW AGAIN: LENNY KRAVITZ". Interview Magazine. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
Lenny Kravitz: "My dad was a producer on the side. I think he did one of Patti Austin’s first recordings, when she was around 13 years old. My dad used to take me to jazz concerts. I got to sit on Duke Ellington’s lap when he played."[verification needed]
- Norment, Lynn (June 1994). "Lenny Kravitz: brother with a different beat – musician". Ebony. Retrieved on August 19, 2007.[verification needed]
- "Behind The Music: Lenny Kravitz". (1999).
-  Archived July 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "YouTube". Youtube.com. Archived from the original on July 8, 2015.
- Marin, Rick (July 21, 2005). "But What I Really Want to Do Is Design Archived May 11, 2015, at the Wayback Machine". The New York Times. Retrieved on March 15, 2007.
- "Live Earth on MSN: The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis". Liveearth.msn.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
- Vozick-Levinson, Simon (July 13, 2007). "Back In Action: Lenny Kravitz Archived December 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on August 19, 2007.
- "Tipitina's Foundation Press Release". July 29, 2007. Archived from the original on July 29, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
-  Archived October 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- [dead link]
- "| PEOPLE.com". September 17, 2018. Archived from the original on September 17, 2018.
- Fleming, Michael (October 29, 2007). "Lee Daniels to direct 'Push'". Variety.
- McCarthy, Todd (December 3, 2008). "Sundance unveils competition lineup". Variety.
- Pappademas, Alex (October 1, 2020). "Lenny Kravitz's Guide to Immortality". Men's Health. Retrieved October 3, 2020.
- "Diddy and Lenny Kravitz Book Appearances on Entourage". TVGuide.com.
- "Lenny Kravitz accepts French honour". BBC.co.uk. December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
- "iTunes – Music – Too Much In Love – Single by Chris Willis". Itunes.apple.com. August 16, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- "Lenny Kravitz cast as Cinna in The Hunger Games". Hunger-games.net. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011.
- "Lenny Kravitz Releasing New Album 'Strut' in September Through Kobalt Label Services". Billboard.com. April 24, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- Lynch, Joe (August 4, 2015). "So… Lenny Kravitz's Penis Popped Out On Stage in Sweden". Billboard. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- Marquina, Sierra (August 4, 2015). "Steven Tyler Has the Perfect Reaction to Lenny Kravitz Accidentally Flashing His Penis — Read His Text Message". Us Weekly. Retrieved August 6, 2015.
- "Lenny Kravitz's Crate & Barrel CB2 Furniture Line Is Kind of Great". www.yahoo.com. Retrieved September 11, 2015.[dead link]
- "CB2 x Kravitz Design Furniture & Home Decor". CB2. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- "Lenny Kravitz Collaborates with CB2 on a Home Line | Architectural Digest". Architectural Digest. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
- "Lenny Kravitz adds dates to his European tour". Teamrock.com. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- Lifton, Dave. "Lenny Kravitz is set to release his 11th studio album, Raise Vibration, on Sept. 7". Ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- Browne, David (April 17, 2018). "Lenny Kravitz Talks Overcoming Dry Spell for New Album 'Raise Vibration'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- "Lenny Kravitz signs with BMG to release new album - Complete Music Update". Completemusicupdate.com. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- Morris, Chris (December 21, 2012). "BMG acquires Virgin Music catalog". Variety.com. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- Zhang, Michael. "This Leica M-P 'Correspondent' Edition Was Designed by Lenny Kravitz". PetaPixel. PetaPixel. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
- [dead link]
- Marin, Rick (July 21, 2005). "But What I Really Want to Do is Design". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- Hagwood, Alex (Spring 2008). "Zoe and Lenny Kravtiz: Actor and Designer/Musician". The New York Times Magazine.
- "Kravtiz Design Inc : Tropicalismo Collection". Vogue Living. January–February 2011.
- Paoletta, Michael (July 2005). "Crystal Palace Collection". Billboard.
- Edgar, Michelle (September 2008). "A Different Groove". Women's Wear Daily.
- Wright, Christian (July 1990). "Let Lenny Rule". SPIN Magazine. p. 62.
- "Lenny Kravitz On His Post-Divorce Relationship With Lisa Bonet: We're 'Best Friends'". Huffington Post. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "Zoe Kravitz. Alternate Name: Zoe Isabella Kravitz". The New York Times. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- "Vanessa Paradis: ses confidences sur sa relation avec Lenny Kravitz". Gala.fr (in French). December 11, 2019.
- "Lenny Kravitz: "J'étais fou amoureux de Vanessa Paradis"..." Pure People (in French). April 15, 2009.
- "A princesa da moda". ISTOÉ Gente (in Portuguese). August 18, 2003. Retrieved November 24, 2016.
- Edwards, Gavin (June 24, 2004). "Lenny Kravitz: The Star Is Born Again". Rolling Stone.
- "Movie Moguls Let Fur Fly, Too". New York Post. November 17, 2002. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
- "Lenny Kravitz - Yesterday Is Gone (My Dear Kay)". YouTube. May 6, 2011.
- "Nicole Kidman reveals engagement we never knew about". NewsComAu. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
- Stevenson, Jane (February 5, 1996). "Bursting rock's balloon". Jam!/Canoe. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Pepper, Tracey (1998). "Lenny's 5". Lenny-kravitz.com. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Simon, Scott (February 12, 2005). "Lenny Kravitz Takes Spiritual Turn on 'Baptism'". NPR. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Breimeier, Russ (2004). "Glimpses of God: Lenny Kravitz / Baptism". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved November 29, 2007.
- Gustafson, Per; Rentilly, J. (November 20, 2014). "Lenny Kravitz Wants To Help You Make Babies". Men's Health.
- Heath, Chris (June 16, 2009). "Lenny Kravitz interview". Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- Hunter Johnston, Lucy (August 18, 2011). "10 Minutes with... Lenny Kravitz". Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- Kelly, Guy (October 5, 2020). "An eight-pack, black loo roll and still broody – this is Lenny Kravitz". The Telegraph. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
- "Radio - Artists Against Racism". Artistsagainstracism.org. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- "Google Groups". Groups.google.com.
- Friedlander, Whitney (August 28, 2019). "VMAs 2019: See the Complete List of Winners." CNN. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
- di Martino, Dave. Singer-songwriters: Pop music's performer-composers, from A to Zevon, Billboard Books, 1994.
- Gregory, Hugh. 1000 Great Guitarists: Rock, Jazz, Country, Funk ..., Balafon Books, 1994.
- la Blanc, Michael (ed.). Contemporary musicians, Vol. 5, Gale Research, 1991.
- Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness Publishing, 1992.
- Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 5th edition, Watson-Guptill Publications, 1992.
- Anderson, Ashely (November 9, 2000). "Brown eyes blue". The Silhouette. Volume 71, Number 12. Retrieved on March 11, 2007.
- Cooper, Carol (1990). "Let love rule – Lisa Bonet and husband Lenny Kravitz". Essence Magazine. Retrieved on March 11, 2007.
- Halbersberg, Elianne (November 1, 2004). "Flying (Almost) Solo". Mix. Retrieved on March 13, 2007.
- "Behind the Music: Lenny Kravitz". Harper, William & Williams, Paulina (Directors). Behind the Music. VH1. June 27, 1999. Season 2, no. 35.
- Henderson, Ashyia N. (2002). Contemporary Black Biography: Profiles from the International Black Community. Gale Group. ISBN 978-0-7876-6049-9.
- Pepper, Tracey (July 1998). "Deep joy – musical artist Lenny Kravitz – Interview". Retrieved on March 12, 2007.
- "Artist Profile – Lenny Kravitz". EMI Music Publishing. Retrieved on March 11, 2007.
- "HELLO! Profiles – Lenny Kravitz". Hello!. Retrieved on March 11, 2007.
- Prato, Greg. Biography of Lenny Kravitz at AllMusic. Retrieved September 19, 2007.
- "Romeo Blue Discography, Biography and Links". Mr. Bill's I.R.S. Records Corner. Retrieved on March 11, 2007.
- Scarlett MacDougal's book series "Have a Nice Life", refers to the main girl's "intergalactic angel/fairy godmother" as a Lenny Kravitz lookalike, though his actual name is Clarence Terence. ISBN 0-14-131020-0
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lenny Kravitz.|
- Lenny Kravitz official site
- Lenny Kravitz official blog
- Lenny Kravitz – The Artists Organization – Management
- Lenny Kravitz discography at MusicBrainz
- Lenny Kravitz discography at Discogs
- Lenny Kravitz on IMDb
- "Lenny Kravitz: Ice Ice Lenny"—interview by Pete Lewis, Blues & Soul no. 1096, July 2009
| Grey Cup Halftime Show
Theory of a Deadman
|Awards and achievements|
for "Cold Irons Bound"
| Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
for "Fly Away"
for "American Woman"
for "Fly Away"
| Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
for "American Woman"
for "American Woman"
| Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
for "Dig In"
| Best Male Rock Vocal Performance
for "Dig In"
for "The Rising"
|MTV Video Music Awards|
for "Tears in Heaven"
| Best Male Video
for "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
for "Mary Jane's Last Dance"