American “retro” rocker, Lenny Kravitz’s style has been compared to such greats as Prince and Jimi Hendrix. His career boasts multi-platinum albums, four consecutive Grammy awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance and over 40 million album sales globally.
Kravitz’s influence also reaches his peers. His collaborative efforts read more like a Hollywood A-List party - Jay-Z, Aerosmith, Mick Jagger and P. Diddy amongst others.
In the 80s, Kravitz worked under the stage name Romeo Blue. He developed a demo but was told he wasn’t “black enough” to compete with the RnB styles that dominated the radio airwaves at the time. Undeterred and without a label, Kravitz decided to started work on an album and managed to attract the attention of Virgin Records.
Within a few years, he traded the Shakespearian nom de plume for a freshly signed Virgin Records contract and released his debut album Let Love Rule in 1989 to mixed reviews.
In the first few years of the 90s, Kravitz spent writing and producing for other artists including Madonna’s Justify My Love but also experienced his first chart success with second album Mama Said. This album featured a song titled It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over and collaborations with Guns 'N' Roses’ Slash and Beatles’ Offspring, Sean Lennon.
In 1993, Are You Gonna Go My Way was released and reached #12 on the Billboard charts and won Kravitz a BRIT award. He followed up with Circus in 1995 which hit #10 despite it only having two moderately successful singles.
In 1998, Kravitz exploded onto the mainstream music scene with his fifth album, suitably named 5, thanks to the hit single Fly Away. This song helped make the album multi-platinum, featured on advertisements and secured Kravitz his first Grammy in 1999.
Success continued in 2001 with an award-winning, cover version of the Guess Who’s American Woman for the second Austin Powers movie soundtrack.
Kravitz subsequently released three more studio albums and became more involved in other projects like political activism, acting and collaboration. He also established his own record label named Roxie Records and a design company aptly named Kravitz Designs. In an era of throwaway music careers, Kravitz has proven his critics wrong with a three decade long career that continues to flourish.
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