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Lenny Kravitz

Mostly Credited As: Lenny Kravitz
Birth Name: Leonard Albert Kravitz
Date Of Birth: May 26, 1964 (Age 50)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: New York City, New York
Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Lenny Kravitz


There may have been other "retro" rock acts before him, but Lenny Kravitz was one of the first to not be pigeonholed to a single style as he's touched upon such genres as soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, and ballads over the years. Born in New York on May 26, 1964 (his mother was actress Roxie Roker, best-known for her role as Helen Willis on the popular TV series The Jeffersons, and his father was a TV producer), Kravitz was raised in Los Angeles, where he found himself around countless musical giants as a youngster due to his parents friendships with the likes of Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, and Miles Davis, among others. Kravitz was a member of the California Boys Choir until his teenage years, when he decided to pursue rock & roll while in high school and under the heavily influence of funk rocker Prince. Kravitz's admiration of the Purple One was so great that he at first patterned his style and approach directly after Prince and became known as "Romeo Blue" (complete with blue contact lenses), but failed to land a recording contract. In the late '80s, Kravitz relocated back to New York City, where one of his roommates turned out to be actress Lisa Bonet (who played the part of Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show); they eventually got married. During this time, Kravitz wisely discarded his Prince-like approach and looked back to such '60s/'70s classic rockers as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley, and the Beatles for inspiration. Kravitz found a kindred spirit in engineer Henry Hirsch (who would stick by Kravitz throughout his career). With a back-to-basics approach, his style was quite refreshing in the humorously gaudy late '80s. He inked a recording contract with Virgin Records and issued his debut release, Let Love Rule, in 1989. Kravitz's debut proved to be a surprise hit due to the success of the title track, which became a hit single and oft-aired video. A few critics were quick to assume that Kravitz's retro look and sound were simply a shtick to get the public's attention, but come the '90s, it had become integrated into the mainstream (both musically and fashion-wise), proving that Kravitz was a bit of a trendsetter. It was around this time that Kravitz penned a major hit single, not for himself but for Madonna, who went to number one with the sultry track "Justify My Love."

What should have been a time of happiness for Kravitz quickly turned sour as he and Bonet divorced by the early '90s. Kravitz's heartbreak was very evident in his sophomore effort, Mama Said, which was even stronger than its predecessor, highlighted by the Led Zep-like funk rocker "Always on the Run" (a collaboration with Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash), as well as the mega hit with the Curtis Mayfield-esque soul ballad "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over," which confirmed that Kravitz's success was no fluke. But the best was yet to come for Kravitz. His third release overall, 1993's Are You Gonna Go My Way, is often considered to be the finest album front to back of his entire career, and with good reason: Every single song was a winner, including the up-tempo anthemic title track, which turned out to be one of MTV's most played videos for that year. The album was a massive hit and Kravitz became an arena headliner stateside, as well as being featured on countless magazine covers. Despite an almost two-year gap between albums, Kravitz's fourth release, Circus, came off sounding unfocused and was a major letdown compared to his stellar previous few releases. Perhaps sensing that he needed to stir things up musically, Kravitz dabbled with electronics and trip-hop loops for his next album, 1998's 5. Although not a huge hit right off the bat, the album proved to have an incredibly long chart life, spawning the biggest hit of Kravitz's career, "Fly Away," almost a year after its original release. With the single's success, Virgin decided to cash in on the album's sudden rebirth by reissuing it around the same time with a pair of extra added bonus tracks, one of which became another sizeable hit single, a remake of the Guess Who's "American Woman" (which was used in the hit 1999 comedy movie Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me). Kravitz's first best-of set, the 15-track Greatest Hits, was issued as a stopgap release in 2000, while his sixh studio release overall, Lenny, was issued a year later. Baptism followed in 2004. In addition to his own albums, Kravitz continues to pen songs for other artists and his compositions have appeared on albums by such rock heavyweights as Aerosmith and Mick Jagger, while he produced and wrote the majority of Vanessa Paradis' obscure self-titled 1992 release.

TV Appearances

Main cast 
20h10 pétantes (2003)As: Himself
Episode Cast Credits 

The Graham Norton Show (2007) 
  Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Luke Evans, Lenny Kravitz 16x02: (Oct/03/2014) As Himself, [Musical Guests]
  Bradley Cooper, Sarah Millican, James Corden, Jessica Biel, Lenny Kravitz 10x06: (Dec/02/2011) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

The Late Show with David Letterman (1993) 
  Denzel Washington, Lenny Kravitz 21x191: (Sep/23/2014) As Himself, [Musical Guests]
  Joe Namath, Alec Baldwin, Lenny Kravitz 19x02: (Aug/30/2011) As Himself, [Musical Guests]
  Colin Farrell, Blake Lively, Lenny Kravitz 15x62: (Feb/08/2008) As Himself 
  Tom Arnold, Joan Allen, Lenny Kravitz 03x102: (Feb/15/1996) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

Today (US) (1952) 
  Season 63, Episode 181 63x181: (Sep/22/2014) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

Live with Kelly & Michael (1983) 
  Jeremy Renner, Lenny Kravitz, Mark Forgione 32x80: (Dec/20/2013) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Penn Badgley, Jim Carrey, Hilary Duff, Peter Gros, Lenny Kravitz 26x214: (Jun/26/2008) As Himself 
  Weeding Week: Lenny Kravitz, Brooke Shields; Vince Vaughn; 26x114: (Feb/07/2008) As Himself 

Oprah's Master Class (2011) 
  Lenny Kravitz 03x05: (Jun/02/2013) As Himself, [Interviewees]

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992) 
  Dana Carvey, Jason Reitman, Lenny Kravitz 19x208: (Dec/13/2011) As Himself, [Musical Guests]
  George Carlin, Denise Richards, Lenny Kravitz 13x35: (Nov/15/2004) As Himself 
  Dana Carvey, Zumanity, Lenny Kravitz 12x156: (May/14/2004) As Himself 
  Gwyneth Paltrow, William H. Macy, Lenny Kravitz 10x81: (Oct/30/2001) As Himself 

The X Factor (US) (2011) 
  LIVE Results Show #6 - 1 of 5 Voted Off 01x22: (Dec/08/2011) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

Wetten, dass..? (1981) 
  Friedrichshafen (3) 32x03: (Dec/03/2011) As Himself ("Push"), [Musical Guests]
  Halle (2) 28x05: (Mar/01/2008) As Music Guest 

The Voice of Holland (2010) 
  The Results 1 02x18: (Dec/02/2011) As Himself, [Musical Guests]
  Live show 1 02x17: (Dec/02/2011) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

This Morning (1988) 
  September 13, 2011 24x07: (Sep/13/2011) As Himself 

The Grammys (1959) 
  The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards 53x01: (Feb/13/2011) As Himself, [Guest Hosts]

Entourage (2004) 
  Tequila and Coke 07x07: (Aug/15/2010) As Himself, [Special Guest Stars]

The New Paul O'Grady Show (2006) 
  Series 5, Show 36 05x36: (May/12/2008) As Himself 

TV total (1999) 
  Season 10, Episode 124 10x124: (Apr/24/2008) As Himself 

Good Morning America (1975) 
  Finance 33x108: (Feb/06/2008) As Himself 

The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003) 
  Colin Farrell/Lenny Kravitz 02x61: (Nov/29/2004) As Himself 

Teen Choice Awards (1999) 
  The 6th Annual Teen Choice Awards 06x01: (Aug/11/2004) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

Jimmy Kimmel Live (2003) 
  8/9/04 01x115: (Aug/09/2004) As Himself 

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2001) 
  David James, Nancy Del 'Olio, Lenny Kravitz, The Rock, Divine Comedy 06x15: (Jul/09/2004) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Charlotte Church, Lenny Kravitz, Reeves & Mortimer 02x02: (Mar/15/2002) As Himself, [Interviewees]

On Air With Ryan Seacrest (2004) 
  Lenny Kravitz and more.... 01x85: (May/20/2004) As Himself 

The Simpsons (1989) 
  How I Spent My Strummer Vacation 14x02: (Nov/10/2002) Voiced  Himself, [Special Guest Stars]

Saturday Night Live (1975) 
  Eric McCormack/Jay-Z 28x05: (Nov/02/2002) As Himself (Musical Guest), [Uncredited]
  Mena Suvari/Lenny Kravitz 26x10: (Jan/20/2001) As Himself, [Musical Guests]
  Kirstie Alley/Lenny Kravitz 18x18: (Apr/24/1993) As Himself, [Musical Guests]

Behind The Music (1997) 
  Bob Marley 05x17: (Jun/30/2002) As Himself 
  Lenny Kravitz 02x34: (Jun/27/1999) As Himself 
  Vanilla Ice 02x22: (Mar/28/1999) As Himself 

TFI Friday (1996) 
  23th February 1996 01x03: (Feb/23/1996) As Himself 

MTV Unplugged (1989) 
  Lenny Kravitz 05x05: (Jul/12/1994) As Himself 

Soul Train (1971) 
  Lenny Kravitz/ Oakland 3-5-7 21x07: (Nov/02/1991) As Himself 
Featured Songs

Beavis and Butt-Head Songs:
Pumping Iron + "Is There Any Love In Your Heart " 
Alias Songs:
Phase One + American Woman 
High Chaparall Songs:
Tonya Harding + American Woman 
Sex and the City Songs:
Ghost Town + Are You Gonna Go My Way 
Doctor Who Confidential Songs:
Stage Fright + Fly Away 
I Get a Side-Kick Out of You + Are You Gonna Go My Way 
Rock Nation Songs:
Season 1, Episode 1 + Are you gonna go my way 
So You Think You Can Dance (AU) Songs:
Top 20 + Are You Gonna Go My Way 
One Tree Hill Songs:
For Tonight You're Only Here to Know + Bring It On 
The Games That Play Us + Where Are We Runnin'? 
Numb3rs Songs:
Spree (1) + Fly Away 
Fairly Legal Songs:
Finale + Heaven Help 
Daria Songs:
Speedtrapped + I Belong to You 
Pierce Me + If You Can't Say No 
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