DJ Timmy Richardson
Member # 60
Born in Brooklyn on May 26th 1964, to an interracial couple - father Sy Kravitz, a TV news producer, and mother Roxie Roker, actress who starred on the hit television comedy series The Jeffersons, Lenny Kravitz has transformed his style and music to fit his own genre.
When he began attending grade school, Lenny quickly realized that his parents were of different races, but it didn't seem to affect him in the least - even though some students weren't as fair minded.
Even as a child, Lenny had a strong desire for music; he would surround himself with his mom's pots and pans and pound on them as though they were drums. Considering his parents were both in the entertainment industry, they encouraged their then 8-year-old son to delve into his desire to play music.
By age ten, Lenny had already seen performances by Sarah Vaughn, James Brown, the Jackson 5, and Duke Ellington. And that same year, the Kravitz's relocated to Los Angeles because of Lenny's mom's role on The Jeffersons.
Because his mom urged him to, Lenny tried out for the prestigious California Boys Choir and was selected to sing. Determined to make it as a musician, Lenny began acquainting himself with different musical instruments. By 1978, Lenny was playing so well that he got accepted into the music program at Beverly Hills High School.
A year later, however, Lenny fell upon Prince's music and felt that that was the music genre he was interested in, and soon after that, his academic standing began to suffer. Lenny renamed himself "Romeo Blue" and began displaying somewhat eccentric behavior.
Luckily, Lenny did graduate from high school in 1982, but nevertheless, music had become his life and nothing was going to stop him from realizing his dream. His father, Sy, agreed to finance Lenny's musical attempts. Things weren't easy at first, since many record companies were complaining to Lenny that his music was not "black" enough.
Determined not to change his musical integrity, Lenny continued to shop around for a record deal for three years. By 1985, Lenny's parents decided to get a divorce and although this affected Lenny very much, it seemed that his career, as well as his love life, were on the up and up.
Still going by the name Romeo Blue, Lenny ended up meeting Lisa Bonet at a New Edition concert. Although they were both involved in other relationships, they ended become good friends, and ultimately, lovers.
By 1986, the two lovebirds were living together and decided to move New York. While Lisa continued working on The Cosby Show, Lenny met Henry Hirsch, a recording engineer who liked Lenny's musical ingenuity. The two ended up working on his debut album Let Love Rule, together.
In November 1987, Lenny and Lisa trekked off to Las Vegas and got married. One year later, their daughter, Zoe, was born. At the same time, Lenny and Hirsch were still working on the tracks for his debut album Let Love Rule. Lenny ended up meeting and signing with the executives at Virgin Records, and soon after, Lenny dropped the "Romeo Blue" name and reverted back to his real name.
The album was released in autumn 1989, and although critics ridiculed it, the public embraced Lenny with open arms and found his diverse blend of rock and soul refreshing. As is the case with most musicians, Lenny began living the fast life and rumors about his infidelities began to fly.
After he produced Madonna's video for "Justify My Love", word had it that the two were involved in a heated love affair. Ultimately, Lisa couldn't bear the infidelity and the couple split up in 1991. In 1993, the divorce was finalized.
Lenny's second album, Mama Said, released in 1991, was much more reflective and became a platinum-selling hit almost overnight thanks to his top ten hit "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" .
But it wasn't until his third album, Are You Gonna Go My Way, that critics and reviewers began giving Lenny any critical acclaim. Released in 1993, the title track ended up earning Lenny an MTV Video Award for Best Male Video.
Lenny soon learned that his mother, Roxie, had terminal cancer. As he already began working on his next album, Circus, Lenny's emotions poured into his music and the album was completed and released in the summer of 1995. Unfortunately, his mother died on December 2nd, 1995.
Deciding to retreat to the Bahamas with his daughter and grandmother, Lenny needed some time to deal with his emotions and decide where he wanted to head next in his musical career. Lenny's latest album, simply entitled 5, is his greatest work to date, including hit singles "Fly Away" (which earned him a 1999 Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance), "Thinking Of You" (written for his mother), and "Little Girl's Eyes" (written for his daughter).
In 1999, Lenny decided to tour Europe over the summer, giving fans a taste of his diverse and eccentric performances. Because of the amazing success that Lenny's album incurred, later editions were marketed with two bonus tracks including a remake of "American Woman", which also appears on the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack.
Obviously, Lenny has enough musical talent to keep us on our toes for years to come. Let's just hope that his personal life remains calm and happy so that his musical capabilities can come shining through.(AskMen)
knew what you knew you did what you did...but when you knew better..you did better" Winfrey