1. Leonard Albert “Lenny” Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor and arranger, whose “retro” style incorporates elements of rock, blues, soul, R&B, funk, jazz, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, pop, folk and ballads.
2. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and percussion himself when recording.
3. 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 as well as setting the record for most consecutive wins in one category by a male.
4. He has been nominated for and won other awards, including American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Radio Music Awards, BRIT Awards and Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.
5. On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
6. He played the role of Cinna in the Hunger Games film series.
7. Leonard Albert Kravitz was born on May 26, 1964 in Manhattan, New York.
8. He is the son of Roxie Roker, an actress known for her character Helen Willis in the 1970s hit television sitcom The Jeffersons, and Sy Kravitz, an NBC television news producer.
9. His father was from a Russian Jewish family (with origins from Ukraine).
10. His mother was of Bahamian and African-American descent, and was from a Christian family.
11. Kravitz began banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, playing them as drums at the age of 3.
12. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, jazz, classical, opera, gospel, and blues.
13. “My parents were very supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, and they took me to a lot of shows,” Kravitz said. His father, who was also a jazz promoter, was friends with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, Miles Davis and other jazz greats.
14. Ellington even played “Happy Birthday” for him one year when he was about 5. He was exposed to the soul music of Motown, Stax, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers and Gamble and Huff growing up who were key influences on his musical style.
15. Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked.
16. In 1974, the Kravitz family relocated to Los Angeles when Kravitz’s mother landed her role on The Jeffersons.
17. 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.
18. He took part in Mahler’s Third Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl.