The 59-year-old rock star opened up about his life and work since he became famous in the 1990s in the winter 2023 issue of Esquire. He said that he doesn’t think his music and success are “celebrated by the folks who run” Black publications and organizations.
Esquire talked to the Grammy winner about how he feels that places that should have known about him and his work over the years haven’t. The musician gave several other examples besides the fact that Vibe magazine didn’t put him on their cover until almost ten years into his career. “To this day,” Kravitz said, “I have not been invited to a BET event or a Source Awards event.”
The “It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over” singer went on, “And it’s like, here’s a Black artist who has brought back many Black art forms and broken down barriers, just like those who came before me did.” That is a good thing. They don’t say anything about it, right?”
“I have been that dream and example of what a Black artist can do,” he said.
The singer also talked about how hard it was to feel like white reviewers didn’t think much of him when he first came out. At that time, there was a story that said, “If Lenny Kravitz were white, he would be the next savior of rock ‘n’ roll.” “A lot of mean things were said about me by these older white men who didn’t want me to have that job.”
The singer of “Fly Away” talked about his problems, but he also said, “I’m not here for the praise.”
“I’m just here for the experience,” he said.
Kravitz has been nominated for nine Grammys over the course of his career and has won one for best male rock singing performance.
When it comes to nominations from Black groups, the singer/actor got one from the BET Soul Train Awards in 2018 for the Soul Train approved award, and he’s also been recognized for his work in movies.
In 2010 and 2013 for Precious and The Hunger Games, he was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for outstanding supporting actor in a motion picture. He was also nominated twice for the Black Reel Award, once for best supporting actor for Precious and once for outstanding song for “You and I Ain’t No More” from The Butler.
The artist’s 12th studio record, Blue Electric Light, will come out next year through Roxie and BMG. The album, which comes out March 15, is his first full-length release in more than five years. It comes after Raise Vibration (2018) and Strut (2014).
After teasing that new music was on the way, Kravitz released the first song from the highly anticipated album “TK421.” He put it out along with an NSFW music video in which he showed everything while rocking out to the catchy song.
We don’t know what Lenny thinks, but we can say that we’ve been behind him here!