Leonard Albert Kravitz was born on May 26 1964 in New York. His mother is an actress called Roxie Roker, who is known as the Helen Willis in the series”The Jeffersons” in the 1970s. His father, Sy Kravitz, was the producer of the NBC Television’s News. His father is the descendant of a Russian Jewish family, from today’s Ukraine. His mother came from the Bahamas, with African-American roots, from a Christian family.
Lenny did not receive any religious education. At the age of 13 he was part of a spiritual experience, he started going to church, thus becoming a non-denominational Christian. He was seven years old when he saw The Jackson 5 acti live in Madison Square Garden, and from that time it has become his favorite band.
He often went to the theater, because his mother worked there. This changed when her mother got a role in a comedy entitled The Jeffersons, so the family had to move to Los Angeles. Then the wind of rock music reached him: Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Cream and The Who had a great influence on him.
At first glance, it’s pretty easy to be impressed by Lenny Kravitz and his 100% leather cloakroom. It is the same for the music. Often built around catchy melodic loops and immediate refrains, his songs seem to be prisoners of an immutable methodology which essentially consists legacy geniuses who preceded him.
If Kravitz is far from being the only musician obsessed by the Hendrix/Lennon/Prince trilogy, the exaltation of these references meet in his tracks almost programmed monolithic expression. As if the musician was finally unable to get out of the composition frame designed by his teenage heroes.
His first stage name was Romeo Blue. In 1989 he released his first album, Let love rule and a year later he became known following a collaboration with Madonna, with whom he co-wrote and co-directed the hit Justify my love. Then he released several albums including Mama Said in 1991, Are you gonna go my way in 1993, Circus in 1995 and Lenny in 2001 or the latest Black and white America in 2011.
He directed and participated in the album of Vanessa Paradis in 1992. He also co-wrote many hits and participates in the realization of many albums of other artists such as Aerosmith, Curtis Mayfield, Julie Zenatti and Michael Jackson. Lenny Kravitz is a musician and a songwriter today known around the world who collaborated with the biggest and has received various awards for his career.
The greatest hits compilation released in 2000 remains the album that has sold the most in his career. In 1992, after the success of his first two, Lenny Kravitz composes his first album in English language with Vanessa Paradis. Be My Baby is another demonstration of the amazing ability of the musician to invent highly efficient melodies capturing our memory from the first listening.
But if the instants composed by the musician speak so much to affection and memories, this is probably because the patterns they solicit already exist since thirty years in the collective memory.
Be My Baby is not content with embodying the ideal pop ballad of the beginning of the decade or illustrating the ephemeral connection between Kravitz and Paradis. The single multiplies loans. Its title and its intention (inspired by the classic By My Baby sung by the Ronettes and masterminded by Phil Spector in 1963), to its melody and chorus broadly based on the Beatles method.
If it only took three solo albums (and a fourth composed for Vanessa Paradis) for Lenny Kravitz to establish himself as one of the clever mystics of the 90s, the continuation of his career also offers some stacked acmes as false pretenses.
With the very scary Rock And Roll Is Dead, which opens his 1995 album (Circus), the guitarist begins the burial of his mojo who only shines intermittently. The disc only support the statistical comparison of his predecessors and “Lenny” definitely reached the peak of his inspiration on his latest album of the decade: 5, published in 1998.
Fly Away and I Belong To You-probably his most personal pieces – shine a light on his rock superstar status for the last time. Confounding of excesses and grandiloquence, the albums of the 2000s then confirmed the imposture of the first appearances and gradually diluted interest in the artist.
However, Lenny Kravitz continues to apply his pragmatic approach and sell tens of thousands of records. Strut, his new album released in late September, is already gold. And even if the index had a net devaluation since the heyday of physical sales (50,000 copies is claimed to be “enough” to the certification today, compared to 100,000 in the late 80s), Lenny Kravitz’s French tour will once again fill the concert halls.
Let’s inverstigate his six best songs:
6. Justify My Love
Although the song became world famous as Madonna’s hit, yet it is still decisive in Lenny Kravitz’s life. In addition to the fact that he was involved as producer in the works of the song, he wrote the lyrics of the song overwhelmed with eroticism together with Ingrid Chávez, which was based on Chavez’s poem, whcih she wrote to Kravitz.
During the joint work the two artists warmed up, moreover, according to the rumors the singer also started an affair with Madonna. Although they strongly refuted this, Lisa Bonet than had enough: she left the musician in 1991, and two years later she even divorced from him.
The whole world was surprised when it turned out that Nicole Kidman and Kravitz are a couple. The white-skinned, frail woman and the half-blood, wild rocker were like fire and water together, although their relationship quickly turned serious.
They loved each other with a burning love, that was underpinned by the fact that Kidman was the first woman in the life of the singer whom he betrothed after his first wife. However, after eight months the romance ended because of an alleged misstep of Kravitz. The indomitable singer even wrote a song to his lover, which appeared on his 2004 album “Baptism”.
4. I’ll be Waiting
One of the most emotional songs from the 2008 album “It’s Time for a Love Revolution” which received very good critics. It was inspired by his own life: we do not know if he refers to Bonet or Kidman, in any case he wrote it for a lady whom he broke the heart and then realized that she was the one.Rolling Stone magazine gave three of five stars to the plate and said that it is the best work of Lenny Kravitz’s life.
Although the industry praised the new album, the womanizer singer’s private life was in ruins: women came and went, countless beautiful celebrities turned in his bed from Marisa Tomei to Isis Arruda. Kravitz finally was jaded and adopted celibacy – at least until he finds the woman with whom he would hook up his life- then he was taken to hospital, and his bronchitis worsened. For this reason, he had to resign the European tour, moreover, he had to hold a four year-break.
3. (I Can’t Make It) Another Day
He wrote two songs for Michael Jackson’s 2001 album, Invincible. Then they continued to work together, but the King of Pop could not see the creation of the new composition. “We worked together with Michael on a song, which has not been released , but the joint work was a wonderful experience, Michael was funny, very funny, we laughed constantly.
He was a wonderful man” – said Kravitz in a statement following the death of his friend. The mentioned song got on the internet one and a half year after Jacko’s death, where from it was later uninstalled. Officially, it was only put up on the musician’s giant posthumous album, Michael in 2010.
2. I Belong To You
This song is the largest and most important work of the artist from many aspects. Not only that he sang it on, but he played all the instrumental accompaniment, and even he sings the vocal. The clip for the song was filmed in the Bahamas, her mother’s homeland.
1. Always On the Run
Always on the Run is one of the few songs on the album “Mama Said”, which was not written to his wife. The song is about a worrying mother trying in vain to shepherd his son in the right direction, because he goes after his head. He recommended the song to his mother, actress Roxie Roker.
Lenny had a very close bond with his mother, who died in 1995. After his parents divorced in 1985 due to the his father’s constant missteps, the little Lenny stayed with his mother, moreover he interrupted the contact in his adult years with his father.
Thank you for reading our article about this giant. We hope that you stay with us for the next one. If you are interested in other great performers, we also covered Prince, David Bowie, Donovan, Bob Marley and Nick Cave in our articles. Don’t forget to check them out.