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Lenny Kravitz Biography

Home > Music > K > Kravitz, Lenny > Biography

Birth Name: Leonard Albert Kravitz
Born: 1964/05/26
Birth Place: New York City, New York, United States
Years Active: 1988–present
Genres: Rock, Hard Rock, Funk Rock, Neo-psychedelia, Pop Rock, Blues-rock, Soul

Leonard Albert "Lenny" Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and arranger, whose "retro" style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk and ballads.

In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and percussion himself when recording. Kravitz has had multiple number 1 hits on the US Top Singles Charts, and many more worldwide. He won the 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.

All of Kravitz's albums have received certifications of gold or higher in the U.S., three of which have been declared multi-platinum. At present, Kravitz has earned three gold albums, two platinum albums, two double platinum albums, and one triple platinum album.

Kravitz's début album “Let Love Rule” (1989) peaked at #61 in the U.S., and while receiving generally positive reviews, it became a huge success in Europe but took a long time to reach success in the U.S.

Its followers, “Mama Said” (1991) and “Are You Gonna Go My Way” (1993) became instant hits, being considered some of the finest recordings of the decade and achieving platinum and multi-platinum status respectively, establishing Kravitz in the music industry and expanding his success in Europe and South America.

However, despite only a two year gap between albums, personal issues such as substance abuse problems, the aftermath of divorce and his mother Roxie Roker's illness lead to a decline in commercial sales with “Circus” (1995), in comparison to his preceding success, remaining his least successful album to date.

With “5” (1998), Kravitz embraced a fresh outlook towards his career and also experimented with electronic equipment such as pro-tools. Initially, the album received only mediocre reviews and it took a slow and steady process for it to achieve worldwide success after spinning off hits such as "I Belong to You" and "Fly Away" to ultimately become Kravitz's most successful studio album to date. It would be the album to establish his career at a higher level, with increasing worldwide popularity, especially in Europe, and would win him his first two Grammy Awards.

“Greatest Hits” (2000) would prove to become Kravitz's most successful album to date, going on to sell over 10.5 million copies worldwide, earning him yet another Grammy. While “Lenny” (2001) would prove to be a very fast seller, although not quite comparing to “5” or “Greatest Hits,” it managed to win Kravitz his fourth consecutive Grammy.

However, “Baptism” would prove to be somewhat of a commercial disappointment for the multi-platinum selling artist when compared to its predecessors. Most recently, his 2008 release “It Is Time For A Love Revolution” had Kravitz realizing some of the best début positions and opening sales weeks worldwide in years, along with his best critical reviews since “Lenny.”