Leonard Kravitz, born in New York City on May 26th, 1964, is a professional musician, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer, and film actor. The genres of music, which he is seen working with the most, are pop, rock, soul, rhythm and blues, funk, and ballads. He also includes pieces of reggae, jazz, folk, and psychedelic into his music.
Lenny Kravitz is not just famous by this particular stage name; he is also popularly known as Romeo Blue. He has been in the American music scene since 1981 and is known for his banger hits. Very few people in this world can connect people with their music, and Lenny Kravitz is one of them. There is so much to his personality and capabilities that just cannot be confined in sentences.
Lenny Kravitz is a Grammy Award winner for the Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, and he retained this title for four years in a row. Kravitz’s popularity was distinctly based on his excellent music producing skills. He broke records and set new ones for the most consecutive wins in one category by a male artist. His acting career also includes big blockbuster films, such as The Hunger Games and many others.
Leonard Albert Kravitz was born in the borough of Manhattan and was the only child of a very famous actress from the 80s, Roxie Roker, and news producer for NBC television, Sy Kravitz. They were the first interracial couple to exist on prime time television. Leonard’s mother was from a Christian family of African and Bahamian descend, and his father was from a Jew family of Russian descend.
Lenny Kravitz has often mentioned how in his early years, he was not brought up very religiously. He went through a spiritual awakening at the age of 13 and started attending church after that. He is now identified as a non-denominational Christian. Lenny’s father was a part of the United States Army Special Forces known as the Green Berret, and his uncle, Leonard M. Kravitz, was a Private First Class.
Unfortunately, his uncle was killed in the Korean War, defending against the Chinese at the young age of 19. Kravitz was named Leonard after his uncle. Kravitz lived with his parents and was schooled in the upper east area of Manhattan. Lenny spent most of his weekend at his grandmother’s house in Brooklyn. Where he always played drums using pots. He decided to be a musician when he was only five years old.
At first, he played the drums but continued playing the guitar soon after. He has often mentioned how his parents supported his love for music, and he even saw The Jacksons perform at Maddison Square Garden at the age of seven. His father was a jazz promoter and was friends with many prominent stars of the time. Kravitz even recalls Duke Ellington singing happy birthday to him on his fifth birthday.
Many stars of the time became a key influence in his style of music. Kravitz’s mother also performed at the New York Theater, and he often went there to see her. Being surrounded by the art of music encouraged him to follow his dreams. In 1974, he moved to Los Angeles with his parents and joined the California Boys Choir, where he sang classical repertoire alongside the Metropolitan Opera.
In LA, he also took part in the Hollywood Bowl and started listening to rock musicians like The Rolling Stone, Pink Floyd, etc. He said that he was attracted by the cool vibe of rock ‘n’ roll music. Lenny was also motivated by Pharaoh Sanders and Bob Marley. He attended school alongside many famous actors and musicians and learned to play the piano and bass. Also, he made friends with a drummer named Zoro.
In 1985, his parents divorced, and that took a toll on his mental health. He took this time to get into music, which helped him get through the strained relationship with his father. He also appeared in a lot of commercials during the time. His dream to become a sensational music con continued.
1985 was the year Lenny Kravitz was all set to debut and step into his dream career. Most record labels he wanted to work with kept labeling his music as too white or too black. He left them behind and decided to record music on his own merit, without connections. He called himself Romeo Blue and lived in a rented car; his life was full of struggles.
He met with Henry Hirsch and recorded a demo song at his New Jersey recording studio. Both of them had similar styles of music and started working on an album, which took a year and a half to complete. He also took Karl Denson on board this journey.
In 1988, Kravitz completed recording his album. He asked his music supervisor, Stephen Elvis Smith, to manage his career and assist his growth as a musician. Lenny then signed a contract with Virgin Records in 1989. He was tailed out of the name Romeo Blue by Stephen and settled on Lenny Kravitz instead.
Lenny’s debut album was released in 1989, with the Let Love Rule. It has a 60s vibe of jazz and funk to it, and as soon as it hit the market, everyone was singing and dancing to his tunes, especially in Europe. Kravitz quickly gathered a band to support his album. He toured around the US and Europe performing this.
In 1990, Kravitz was top on everyone’s list. He wrote a song named Justify My Love for Madonna and included it in his album The Immaculate Collection; it was on number 1 for two weeks. During this time, rumors of his affair with Madonna was heard of, but he denied all of them. Also, Lenny separated from his wife Lisa Bonet in the same year.
In 1991, he produced many albums and songs that reached number 1, such as Vanessa Paradis and Mama Said, which were dedicated to Bonet. His song It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over was ranked no. 2 on Billboard. More popular songs that he produced were Always on the Run and Stand by My Women.
In 1993, the song ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ was released, and its video won the MTV Video Music Award in a heartbeat. The song ‘Circus,’ which he released in 1995, stayed in the top 10 Billboard Charts for quite some time. It was finally the time when people lined up to buy his latest albums. In 1998, he started experimenting with modern music technology and produced the album Five, which was a big hit. He even got a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performances for this song.
He continued to produce great music along the way. In 2000, Lenny made a complication of his greatest hits and made many appearances here and there, the most prominent one being on the Guns N’ Roses track. In 2001, the album Lenny by Lenny Kravitz was released. This was another success. Lenny also released a download-only song in 2003, named We Want Peace, after the invasion of Iraq.
Kravitz changed his vibe completely in 2004 and released an album called Baptism. This enthusiastic album was followed by It Is Time for a Love Revolution in 2008, and Black and White America in 2011. All his songs carried a profound meaning and message behind them, and this was the main reason why his music was said to touch the soul.
2009 was the time when Kravitz had already conquered the music industry and stepped into acting. He starred in the movie Precious, which was nominated for Oscars. After that, The Hunger Games in 2012 was his second firm step as an actor; he also appeared in its sequel Catching Fire. Moreover, Lenny starred in a famous film The Butler in 2013 and wrote songs for its soundtrack.
Lenny Kravitz continuously won the Grammy award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance from 1999 to 2002. As a musician, he was nominated and won many awards, such as MTV Music Awards, American Music Awards, Radio Music Awards, and Blockbuster Entertainment Award. He even claimed the 93rd position on the VH1’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Lenny Kravitz met hisactress wife, Lisa Bonnet, in New York, in 1986. They quickly fell in love with each other and eloped in 1987. After this, Kravitz’s music career was at acme, working at Virgin Records. The couple welcomed their daughter, Zoe, to this world in 1988. Kravitz invited a few models and actresses at that time and got engaged to Adriana Lima in 2002. The engagement was called off within a year.
Other than that, Kravitz follows a vegan diet and is identified as both Christian and Jew. He also mentioned that having parents from different religious backgrounds affected his upbringing. Furthermore, Kravitz actively works with a Canadian charity named Artists against Racism.
Kravitz also partnered with Leica Camera AG in 2015 and 2019 with cameras titled, The Correspondent and a monochrome addition one, titled Drifter. He also included a gallery of his work, which was showcased in the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar, Germany.
Kravitz also founded a New York City-based company in 2003 named Kravitz Design Inc., which deals with creative direction and designing of marketing campaigns. He had many famous clients from this project, such as the Morgans Hotel Group, Swarovski, and The Setai Group.