Lenny Kravitz Overview
Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American United States singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and arranger arrangement whose "retro" style incorporates elements of rock rock music , soul soul music , funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic psychedelic rock , folk traditional music and ballads ballad (music) .
In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass bass guitar , drums, keyboards musical keyboard , and percussion percussion instrument himself when recording. He is known for his elaborate stage performances and music videos. Kravitz has had multiple number 1 hits on the US Top Singles Charts, though none by himself on the Hot 100, and many more worldwide. He won the Grammy Award for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance 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 most consecutive wins in one category. He has been nominated and won other awards, namely American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Radio Music Awards, BRIT Awards and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.
Kravitz was born in New York City, New York on May 26, 1964, the son of Roxie Roker, an actress known for her character Helen Willis Jeffersons supporting characters#Helen Douglas Willis in the 1970s hit television sitcom The Jeffersons, and Sy Kravitz, an NBC television news producer. Kravitz's father was of Russian Jewish descent from Kiev and his mother was of Bahamian descent. Kravitz was named after his uncle, PFC Private First Class Leonard Kravitz, who was killed in action on March 6, 1951 near Yangpyeong, Korea at the age of 20. PFC. Kravitz fearlessly defended against a surprise Chinese Army attack, saving most of his platoon; he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross Distinguished Service Cross (United States) , the second highest military decoration of the United States Army.
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 Roker's house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn neighborhood of Brooklyn. 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 Drum kit and soon added guitar. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B rhythm and blues , jazz, classical classical music , opera, gospel gospel music , and blues. "My parents were very supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, and they took me to a lot of shows," Kravitz said. Around the age of 7, 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. Ellington even played "Happy Birthday Happy Birthday to You " for him one year when he was about 5. Kravitz wanted to be a session musician. He also appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time.
Kravitz went to school enough to pass, but was spending more and more time jamming Jam session with friends. His parents became concerned, wanting him to have something to fall back on. At the age of 15, determined to have a music career, Kravitz moved out of his house. He stayed with friends, slept in friends' cars, and at one point was even sleeping in his Ford Pinto. Inspired by David Bowie, Kravitz adopted the nom de guerre, "Romeo Blue," a new persona complete with straightened hair and blue contact lenses, and began performing. Kravitz's music at this time was heavily influenced by the synth-laden funk pop of Prince Prince (musician) . In 1982, Kravitz graduated from Beverly Hills High School and convinced his father to give him money to record instead of spending money on college. With his first demo demo (music) , Kravitz received offers from several record labels, including I.R.S. Records, but Kravitz was told he needed to change his music to make it "black enough" to fit in with current radio-friendly R & B styles. "I refused," Kravitz told the Los Angeles Times in 1989.
1989-1990: Virgin Records and the career début
With record labels still telling him his music wasn't "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 5 years. In October 1988, after completing most of the recording, Kravitz approached friend Stephen Elvis Smith who had served as the Music Supervisor on Bonet's spin-off of The Cosby Show, "A Different World". Smith had also worked with Kravitz' mother Roxie Roker, on the hit sitcom "The Jeffersons". Kravitz engaged 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. 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." which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2009.
on May 2, 2009.
During the Italian leg of his 53 date Let Love Rule (20)09 European tour, Kravitz has been instructed to cancel some shows due to a bad bout of bronchitis. Under strict orders from his doctor, the singer has been put to rest so that he could make a quick recovery and return to the stage for the rest of his high energy tour. Shows scheduled for Rome on June 5 and Brescia on June 6 have been postponed to late July.
It has since emerged that Kravitz's next album Funk will now be called Negrophilia Negrophilia (Lenny Kravitz album) and is set to be due out sometime in 2010. A video on Kravitz's twitter page shows him working on one of the songs for the album, believed to be called Super Love, in his Miss Bessie studios in the Bahamas .
It was announced that Kravitz would be supporting U2 on their highly successful 360 Tour on the second North American leg in 2010. Kravitz will support them for 4 shows.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. 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 on November 16, 1987, her 20th birthday, in a Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nevada 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 Zoe Kravitz , born on December 1, 1988. Kravitz and Bonet divorced in 1993.
Kravitz identifies himself as both a Christian "through choice" and a Jew, which he described both as "all the same to me". 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 on 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." During another interview, he quipped "I'm half Jewish, I'm half black, I look in-between."
In 2002, Kravitz was rumored to be engaged to Adriana Lima, although he denied the rumors. In 2003, Lenny Kravitz started to date Nicole Kidman. Later in 2004, the couple broke up. In the September 2007 issue of Vanity Fair Vanity Fair (magazine) , Kidman revealed that she had been secretly engaged to someone after her divorce with Tom Cruise and before her marriage to Keith Urban. Some sources have reported that the "mystery man" is Lenny Kravitz.*At the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2001, Kravitz was asked to guest on All Along the Watchtower during Dave Matthews Band's set. Matthews and Kravitz traded lead vocals.
*The song "Always On the Run" is a playable track on the music video game "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith", and "Are You Gonna Go My Way" is a playable track on the sequel, "Guitar Hero: World Tour."
*The songs "Are You Gonna Go My Way", "Mr. Cab Driver", "Let Love Rule", and "Freedom Train" were released as downloadable content for Rock Band and Rock Band 2 on Tuesday, January 13, 2009.
*Kravitz, with Stevie Wonder on harmonica, covered Deuce originally by Hard Rock American band Kiss on the Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved album, released June 21, 1994.
* All albums were released by Virgin Records America.
*1991: Video Retrospective
*1994: Lenny Kravitz: Alive From Planet Earth
*2002: Lenny LIVE
*2004: "Where Are We Runnin'?"
*2008: It Is Time For A Love Revolution: Deluxe Edition It Is Time For A Love Revolution * Universal Love Tour
* Circus Tour
* The Freedom Tour
* Lenny Tour
* The Baptism Tour
* Electric Church Tour: One Night Only
* Get On The Bus Mini-Tour
* Love Revolution Tour
* LLR 20(09) Tour*'MTV Video Music Awards'
**1993 - Best Male Video MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video ("Are You Gonna Go My Way? Are You Gonna Go My Way? (song) ")
**1994 - International male
*'VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards'
**1998 - Most Fashionable Artist, Male Award
**1993 - Best Rock Vocal Solo Performance Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo ("Are You Gonna Go My Way Are You Gonna Go My Way (song) " - Nominee only.)
**1995 - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("Rock and Roll Is Dead" - Nominee only.)
**1998 - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("Fly Away Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz song) ")
**1999 - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("American Woman American Woman (song) ")
**2000 - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("Again Again (Lenny Kravitz song) ")
**2001 - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("Dig In")
**2003 - Best Male Rock Vocal Performance ("If I Could Fall In Love Lenny (album) " - Nominee only.)
*'Radio Music Awards'
**2001 - Artist of the Year/Pop Alternative Radio
*'My VH1 Awards'
**2001 - Favorite Male Artist
*'Blockbuster Entertainment Awards'
**2001 - Favorite Male Artist - Rock
*'American Music Awards'
**2002 - Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist American Music Awards of 2002#Pop/Rock Category
*'Microsoft Windows Media Innovation Awards'
**2002 - Microsoft Windows Media Innovation Award
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