Lenny Kravitz Born in Brooklyn on May 26th 1964, to an interracial
couple - father Sy Kravitz, a TV news producer, and mother Roxie
Roker, actress who starred on the hit television comedy series
The Jeffersons, Lenny Kravitz has transformed his style and music
to fit his own genre. When he began attending grade school, Lenny
quickly realized that his parents were of different races, but
it didn't seem to affect him in the least - even though some students
weren't as fair minded. Even as a child, Lenny had a strong desire
for music; he would surround himself with his mom's pots and pans
and pound on them as though they were drums. Considering his parents
were both in the entertainment industry, they encouraged their
then 8-year-old son to delve into his desire to play music. By
age ten, Lenny had already seen performances by Sarah Vaughn,
James Brown, the Jackson 5, and Duke Ellington. And that same
year, the Kravitz's relocated to Los Angeles because of Lenny's
mom's role on The Jeffersons.
Because his mom urged him to, Lenny tried out for the prestigious
California Boys Choir and was selected to sing. Determined to
make it as a musician, Lenny began acquainting himself with different
musical instruments. By 1978, Lenny was playing so well that he
got accepted into the music program at Beverly Hills High School.
A year later, however, Lenny fell upon Prince's music and felt
that that was the music genre he was interested in, and soon after
that, his academic standing began to suffer. Lenny renamed himself
"Romeo Blue" and began displaying somewhat eccentric
Luckily, Lenny did graduate from high school in 1982, but nevertheless,
music had become his life and nothing was going to stop him from
realizing his dream. His father, Sy, agreed to finance Lenny's
musical attempts. Things weren't easy at first, since many record
companies were complaining to Lenny that his music was not "black"
enough. Determined not to change his musical integrity, Lenny
continued to shop around for a record deal for three years. By
1985, Lenny's parents decided to get a divorce and although this
affected Lenny very much, it seemed that his career, as well as
his love life, were on the up and up. Still going by the name
Romeo Blue, Lenny ended up meeting Lisa Bonet at a New Edition
concert. Although they were both involved in other relationships,
they ended become good friends, and ultimately, lovers.
By 1986, the two lovebirds were living together and decided to
move New York. While Lisa continued working on The Cosby Show,
Lenny met Henry Hirsch, a recording engineer who liked Lenny's
musical ingenuity. The two ended up working on his debut album
Let Love Rule, together. In November 1987, Lenny and Lisa trekked
off to Las Vegas and got married. One year later, their daughter,
Zoe, was born. At the same time, Lenny and Hirsch were still working
on the tracks for his debut album Let Love Rule. Lenny ended up
meeting and signing with the executives at Virgin Records, and
soon after, Lenny dropped the "Romeo Blue" name and
reverted back to his real name.
The album was released in autumn 1989, and although critics ridiculed
it, the public embraced Lenny with open arms and found his diverse
blend of rock and soul refreshing. As is the case with most musicians,
Lenny began living the fast life and rumors about his infidelities
began to fly. After he produced Madonna's video for "Justify
My Love", word had it that the two were involved in a heated
love affair. Ultimately, Lisa couldn't bear the infidelity and
the couple split up in 1991. In 1993, the divorce was finalized.
Lenny's second album, Mama Said, released in 1991, was much more
reflective and became a platinum-selling hit almost overnight
thanks to his top ten hit "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over".
But it wasn't until his third album, Are You Gonna Go My Way,
that critics and reviewers began giving Lenny any critical acclaim.
Released in 1993, the title track ended up earning Lenny an MTV
Video Award for Best Male Video.
Lenny soon learned that his mother, Roxie, had terminal cancer.
As he already began working on his next album, Circus, Lenny's
emotions poured into his music and the album was completed and
released in the summer of 1995. Unfortunately, his mother died
on December 2nd, 1995. Deciding to retreat to the Bahamas with
his daughter and grandmother, Lenny needed some time to deal with
his emotions and decide where he wanted to head next in his musical
career. Lenny's latest album, simply entitled 5, is his greatest
work to date, including hit singles "Fly Away" (which
earned him a 1999 Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance),
"Thinking Of You" (written for his mother), and "Little
Girl's Eyes" (written for his daughter).
In 1999, Lenny decided to tour Europe over the summer, giving
fans a taste of his diverse and eccentric performances. Because
of the amazing success that Lenny's album incurred, later editions
were marketed with two bonus tracks including a remake of "American
Woman", which also appears on the Austin Powers: The Spy
Who Shagged Me soundtrack. Obviously, Lenny has enough musical
talent to keep us on our toes for years to come. Let's just hope
that his personal life remains calm and happy so that his musical
capabilities can come shining through.