His father is of Russian Jewish descent,     and his father was from a Jewish family with origins from Ukraine ; see the Kravits surname. Kravitz , who was killed in action in the Korean War at the age of 19, while defending against a Chinese attack and saving most of his platoon; he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross but was denied the Medal of Honor.
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 and soon added guitar. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: Ellington even played " Happy Birthday " for him one year when he was about 5. Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked. His mother encouraged his dreams of pursuing music. At his mother's urging, Kravitz joined the California Boys Choir for three years, where he performed a classical repertoire, and sang with the Metropolitan Opera.
Kravitz attended Beverly Hills High School. In , Kravitz was accepted into the school's well-respected music program. He taught himself to play piano and bass , and made friends with Zoro who would later become his long-time collaborator. He also appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time. Career[ edit ] — Virgin Records and career debut[ edit ] With record labels still telling him his music was not "black enough" or "white enough", Kravitz decided to record an album on his own.
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 was so impressed with his playing that Denson played on much of the album. Denson toured with Kravitz for the next five years. Smith had also worked with Kravitz' mother, on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. Kravitz urged 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. The label was excited about the music he was making, music inspired by his relationship with wife Bonet and their new daughter, Zoe. 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. Music critics were mixed: The album was a moderate success in the United States, but became an instant hit outside of the US, especially in Europe.
Lisa Bonet directed the debut music video for the title track, "Let Love Rule". Having played essentially all of the instruments on the album, Kravitz had to quickly assemble a touring band to support the Let Love Rule release. The double disk includes a booklet with rare photos, and 18 additional demos, bonus tracks and live recordings. And the principal of his career in Brittany , at Rennes  — The song, which appeared on her greatest hits album The Immaculate Collection and created controversy because of its explicit video, went to number 1 for two consecutive weeks.
When MTV banned the video, the video was quickly made available for sale at record stores, and immediately sold over , copies. Kravitz separated from Lisa Bonet in ,  amid rumors of an affair between him and Madonna.
Kravitz has denied any infidelity. He played most of the instruments and co-wrote most of the songs on the album. He also released his second album, Mama Said , which was his first album to reach the Top The songs on the album were about Bonet and dedicated to her, documenting his depression over their breakup. The single " Always on the Run ", a tribute to his mother,  featured Slash on guitar.
This album was the first to feature guitarist Craig Ross , who has also played on all his subsequent albums. A feature documentary about his tour entitled Alive from Planet Earth was directed by Doug Nichol and released. Lenny also made a video to pay tribute to Teena Marie when she suddenly passed away on December 26, The track featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and background vocals.
This song was one of three radio singles from the album, and was also the album's lead-off track. Roxie Roker, Kravitz's mother, died in California on December 2, , of breast cancer at the age of In , Lenny Kravitz released the album Circus , which went to number 10 on the Billboard chart on the back of his past achievement. However, the album only had two hit singles: With 5 , Kravitz embraced digital technology such as Pro Tools and samplers for the first time.
For the "I Belong to You" video Lenny can be seen without his signature dreadlocks. Kravitz's version of the song originally came from the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and was added to 5 as a bonus track in Kravitz worked on two songs for Michael Jackson 's Invincible album released in ; a snippet of " Another Day " has leaked, and the full version was officially released on the album Michael in It proved to be his most successful album, reaching 2 on the Billboard and selling nearly 11 million copies worldwide and ultimately becoming one of the most commercially successful albums of the decade.
In , Kravitz participated in a benefit auction for the Red Hot Organization , in conjunction with Amazon. The album was recorded in Miami. Kravitz wrote the song "Bank Robber Man" after the Miami Police Department detained and cuffed him while walking to the gym with his trainer because police stated that he matched the description of a bank robber.
Kravitz did not have any identification with him at the time and the police on the scene did not believe that he was indeed Lenny Kravitz. The bank teller who was robbed was then brought to the scene and said Kravitz was not the bank robber. Miami Police later sent officers to Kravitz's home to apologize for the detention. The first single from the album, " Dig In ", went to number 1 in Argentina and the top 10 in Italy and Portugal.
The video for "Dig In" was originally supposed to be shot at the top of the Empire State Building on September 12, but the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, caused the location to be moved. The video was later shot off the coast Miami. He won his fourth Grammy in Kravitz was the subject of a photo book by former chief photographer for Rolling Stone, Mark Seliger. Published in November , Seliger captures Kravitz on tour, with family, with friends and in posed portraits.
Kravitz would also join P. The track reached 1 on the world internet download charts and MP3. A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix. Kravitz's seventh album Baptism was released in May The first single was " Where Are We Runnin'? The single "California" failed to be commercially successful, but "Storm", featuring Jay-Z , reached the charts. Also in , he appeared on N. D 's album Fly or Die. Kravitz served as the opening act for Aerosmith who are long term friends of Kravitz on their fall tour.
During that first show, Lenny broke the news to the stunned crowd and stated it was not a time to be sad, but rather a time to celebrate because he is now in Heaven. Lenny then dedicated Let Love Rule to his father.
That tour was so successful that it was extended through February 25, and ended in Anaheim , California. This song was re-mixed by ten musical producers and distributed via the internet. Kravitz appeared in the audience of Madonna's Confessions Tour during numerous shows. Kravitz founded a design firm named Kravitz Design, stating if he hadn't been a musician he would have been a designer. Kravitz Design, focused on interior and furniture design, has designed residential spaces, as well as a chandelier for the crystal company Swarovski , named "Casino Royale.
Kravitz had already played there on March 21, , drawing , people on a concert of his own. The Live Earth concert, with eight other acts on the bill, including Pharrell and Macy Gray , took , to the beach. The video premiered on VH1's Top 20 Countdown at number 3. The tour was done in association with Myspace and called the "Get on the Bus" tour. At each stop on the tour, they would pick up one contest winner and their guest and they rode on the "Love Revolution" bus until the end of the tour.
Ryan Neuerburg, the San Francisco winner, embarked on almost the entire tour with his father, Tom Neuerburg. The photo shoot took place at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on stage. On February 11, , Kravitz was admitted to Miami Hospital suffering from severe bronchitis.
He had been suffering from a series of severe respiratory tract infections since mid-January, and the illness developed into bronchitis. Kravitz's illness had forced him to postpone Canadian dates and his trip to Europe to promote his album It Is Time for a Love Revolution. On March 19, he canceled the South American part of his tour due to the same illness.
The decision affected planned concerts in Colombia , Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Kravitz made his feature film acting debut in Precious  which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January Under strict orders from his doctor, the singer was told to rest so that he could make a quick recovery and return to the stage for the rest of his tour.
U2 tour and Black and White America[ edit ] Kravitz's next album, tentatively titled Funk, was tentatively re-titled Negrophilia and was due out sometime in This is believed to be a project that Kravitz has been working on since Some of the original tracks for Funk were recorded while he was in New Orleans at Allen Toussaint 's studio while taking a break for several months from recording in New York City.