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Happy birthday, Lenny Kravitz

Posted on by Gaëlle Drd

Lenny Kravitz, american singer, songwriter, actor and record producer

Lenny Kravitz, american singer, songwriter, actor and record producer

Happy birthday, Lenny Kravitz ...
 Born Leonard Albert Kravitz on May 26 1964 in Manhattan, New York, U.S., Lenny Kravitz is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer.
At the age of three, he began to play the drums using pots and pans in the kitchen. By the age of five, he already knew he wanted to be a musician. He then began to learn to actually play the drums and also the guitar.
His parents listened to a lot of music and took him to many concerts. When he was seven, he saw The Jackson 5 perform at the Madison Square Garden and, after that, they became his favourite band. His father was also a jazz promoter, which allowed him to meet some famous artists.
After his family moved to Los Angeles in 1974, Lenny joined the California Boys Choir for three years.
At about the same time, he discovered rock music and began listening to bands such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Kiss, The Who... He was also influenced by other musicians including Bob Marley, John Lennon, Miles Davis...
Lenny attended Beverly Hills High School, the same school as Slash and also Nicolas Cage.
When he was 14, he was accepted in the school music program and taught himself to play the bass and the piano. At that time, Lenny wanted to be a session musician.
After being turned down by many records labels, he came to the conclusion he had to do things himself and decided to self-produce his first album.
In 1988, with the help of recording engineer Henry Hirsch, he began recording his debut album.
In October of the same year, once most of the album had been recorded, Lenny asked his friend Stephen Elvis Smith to help him find a record deal. Due to his help, several big labels, including Warner Bros and Elektra, tried to get Lenny who eventually signed with Virgin Records in January 1989.
At that time, Lenny was using the stage name Romeo Blue but Stephen Elvis Smith convinced him to go with the name Lenny Kravitz.
His debut album, Let Love Rule, was released in September 1989, and, although it met only moderate success in the US, it became a massive hit in other countries.
To promote the album, Lenny went on a club tour which was followed by tours with Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
In the early 1990s, he began to produce music for other artists. In 1990, he co-wrote and produced Madonna's Justify My Love, and the following year he produced and co-wrote Vanessa Pradis' self-titled album.
The same year, he released Mama Said, his second album, which reached number 39 on the Billboard 200.
In 1993, Lenny sang on the song Use Me on Mick Jagger's album Wandering Spirit, and he played the guitar on the song The Buddha of Suburbia on David Bowie's album of the same title.
His third studio album, Are You Gonna Go My Way, was released in March 1993 and reached number 12 on the Billboard 200. The following year, Lenny received a Brit Award for best international male artist.
His sound became more modern with the album 5 on which he began using digital technology, samplers and Pro Tools for instances. Released in 1998, the album stayed about two years in the top 100 of the Billboard 200 and reached Gold and Platinum in many countries including France, Germany, the UK, Australia...
In 2000, Lenny released a Greatest Hits album, which sold almost 11 million copies worldwide. By March 2008, 21 million copies of the album had been sold worlwide. It is still to this day Lenny's most successful album and one of the top-selling album of the 2000s.
Not long before beginning to record his sixth album, Lenny was detained by the police because he matched the description of a bank robber and did not have any I.D. with him. He was released after the bank teller said he was not the robber. The event inspired him to write the song Bank Robber Man, which is featured on his sixth album, Lenny, which was released in 2001.
The video for Dig In, the album's first single, was supposed to be shot at the top of the Empire State Building on September 12 2001 but the shooting was postponed and the location changed because of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
In November 2001, photographer Mark Seliger published a photo book of Lenny on tour and in his daily life. The book also featured some in posed portraits.
The following year, Lenny collaborated with rappers such as Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, and P. Diddy, and he also appeared alongside Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Brian Setzer in The Simpsons' episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation".
To protest against the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Lenny released the track We Want Peace. The track was only available in downloading and reached number 1 on the world internet charts.
In May 2004, he released the album Baptism and went on two tours to promote it, first the Baptism tour in North America, and then The Electric Church Tour: One Night Only the following year.
The Electric Church Tour ended at the Brixton Academy in London in July 2005 and, a few months later, Lenny opened for Aerosmith during their fall 2005 tour.
On January 17 2008, Lenny went on a 9 city tour to promote the album It Is Time for a Love Revolution which was released a few days after the end of the tour in February 2008.
Six days after the release of the album, on February 11 2008, he was admitted to Miami Hospital because of a severe bronchitis. The illness forced him to postpone the Canadian and European shows that were supposed to promote the album. The following month, he also had to cancel his South American tour because of bronchitis still.
Due to his work with the United Nations Millennium Campaign to end world poverty, Lenny was awarded with the key to the city of Milan, Italy, on July 15 2008.
In 2009, he had to once again postpone shows because of bronchitis.
In December 2011, he was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (an award for significant contributions to the arts, or their propagation) by French cultural minister Frédéric Mitterrand.
Lenny played the part of Cinna, Katniss' creative stylist, in the first two Hunger Games movies, which were released in 2013.
In September the following year, he released Strut, his tenth studio album.
On February 1 2015, Lenny performed at the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show alongside Katy Perry.
He played his first ever recurring television role in 2016, playing the part as Roland Crane in the Fox Television series Star.
Lenny is currently working on a new album which will be released in 2017.
To conclude, we wish a happy birthday and years of rock to Lenny Kravitz!

Lenny Kravitz, 1991 © Visual

Lenny Kravitz, 1991 © Visual

[ french version :
Joyeux anniversaire,  Lenny Kravitz ...
 Né Leonard Albert Kravitz le 26 mai 1964 à Manhattan, New York, U.S., Lenny Kravitz est un chanteur, auteur-compositeur, multi-instrumentaliste et producteur d'album.
A l'age de trois ans, il commence à jouer de la batterie en utilisant des casseroles dans la cuisine. A cinq ans, il sait déjà qu'il veut être musicien. Il commence alors à apprendre à réellement jouer de la batterie ainsi que de la guitare.
Ses parents écoutent beaucoup de musique et l'emmènent à de nombreux concerts. Quand il a sept ans, il voit un concert des Jackson 5 au Madison Square Garden et, après cela, ils deviennent son groupe favorit. Son père est aussi promoteur de jazz, ce qui lui permet de rencontrer des artistes célèbres.
Après que sa famille déménage à Los Angeles en 1974, Lenny rejoint la California Boys Choir (Chorale de garçons de Californie) pour trois ans.
A peu près au même moment, il découvre la musique rock et se met à écouter des groupes tels que The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Kiss, The Who... Il est aussi influencé par d'autres musiciens comme Bob Marley, John Lennon, Miles Davis...
Lenny va à la Beverly Hills High School, le même collège que Slash et aussi Nicolas Cage.
A 14 ans, il est accepté dans le programme musicale de son école et apprend en autodidacte à jouer de la basse et du piano. A ce moment là, Lenny veut être musicien studio.
Après avoir été rejeté par de nombreux label, il en conclut qu'il doit faire les choses lui-même et décide d'auto-produire son premier album.
En 1988, avec l'aide de l'ingénieur du son Henry Hirsch, il commence à enregistrer son premier album.
En octobre de la même année, une fois que la majeure partie de l'album est enregistrée, Lenny demande à son amis Stephen Elvis Smith de l'aider à trouver un contrat oour son album. Grâce à son aide, de nombreux gros labels, dont Warner Bros et Elektra, tente d'avoir Lenny qui signe finalement avec Virgin Records en janvier 1989.
A ce moment, Lenny utilisait le nom de scène Romeo Blue mais Stephen Elvis Smith le convainc d'utiliser le nom Lenny Kravitz.
Son premier album, Let Love Rule, sort en septembre 1989, et, bien que son succès ne soit que modéré aux Etats-Unis, il devient un hit dans d'autres pays.
Pour promouvoir l'album, Lenny fait une tournée dans des clubs suivie par des tournées avec Bob Dylan, David Bowie, et Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Au début des années 1990, il commence à produire de la musique pour d'autres artistes. En 1990, il co-écrit et produit Justify My Love de Madonna, et l'année suivante, il produit et co-écrit l'album éponyme de Vanessa Paradis.
La même année, il sort Mama Said, son deuxième album, qui se classe numéro 39 sur le Billboard 200.
En 1993, Lenny chnate sur la chanson Use Me sur l'album Wandering Spirit de Mick Jagger, et il joue de la guitare sur la chanson The Buddha of Suburbia sur l'album de David Bowie du même titre.
Son troisième album studio, Are You Gonna Go My Way, sort en mars 1993 et se classe numéro 12 sur le Billboard 200. L'année suivante, Lenny reçoit un Brit Award pour meilleur artiste masculin international.
Son son devient plus moderne avec l'album 5 sur lequel il commence à utuliser de la technologie digitale, des samplers et Pro Tools par exemples. Sorti en 1998, l'album reste environ deux ans dans le top 100 du Billboard 200 et est disque d'or et de platine dans de nombreux pays dont la France, l'Allemagne, le Royaume-Uni, l'Australie...
En 2000, il sort un album de Greatest Hits, qui se vend à presque 11 millions de copies dans le monde. En mars 2008, le nombre d'exemplaires vendus dans le monde s'élève à 21 millions. C'est toujours à ce jour l'album de Lenny qui s'est le mieux vendu et un des albums les plus vendus des années 2000.
Peu de temps avant de commencer à enregistrer son sixième album, Lenny se fait arrêter et mettre en cellule car il correspond à la description d'un voleur de banque et n'a pas ses papiers d'identité sur lui. Il est finalement relâché quand le caissier de la banque affirme qu'il ne s'agit pas du voleur. L'événement lui inspire la chanson Bank Robber Man, qui est sur son sixième album, Lenny, qui sort en 2001
La video pour Dig In, le premier single de l'album, est censée être tournée au sommet de l'Empire State Building le 12 septembre 2001 mais la tournage est repoussé et déplacé à cause des attaques sur le World Trade Center.
En novembre 2001, le photographe Mark Seliger publie un livre photo de Lenny en tournée et dans sa vie quotidienne. Le livre comporte aussi des portraits posés.
L'année suivante, Lenny collabore avec des rappeurs comme Jay-Z, Pharrell Williams, et P. Diddy, et il apparaît aussi aux côtés de Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello et Brian Setzer dans l'épisode des Simpson "Homer Like a Rolling Stone".
Pour protester contre l'invasion de l'Iraq en 2003, Lenny sort la chanson We Want Peace. La chanson est disponible uniquement en téléchargement et se classe numéro 1 des téléchargements mondiaux.
En mai 2004, il sort l'album Baptism et fait deux tournées pour le promouvoir, la première appelée Baptism Tour en Amérique du Nord, et ensuite The Electric Church Tour: One Night Only l'année suivante.
La Electric Church Tour se termine à la Brixton Academy à Londres en juillet 2005 et, quelques mois après, Lenny fait la première partie d'Aerosmith pour leur tournée de l'automne 2005.
Le 17 janvier 2008, Lenny commence une tournée de 9 villes pour promouvoir son album It Is Time for a Love Revolution qui sort quelques jours après la fin de la tournée en février 2008.
Six jours après la sortie de l'album, le 11 février 2008, il est admit au Miami Hospital à cause d'une sévère bronchite. La maladie le force à reporter les concerts de promotion de l'album au Canada et en Europe. Le mois suivant, il est obligé d'annuler sa tournée sud-américaine toujours à cause de sa bronchite.
En récompense de son travail avec la United Nations Millenium Campaign pour mettre fin à la pauvreté dans le monde, Lenny reçoit les clés de la ville de Milan, Italie, le 15 juillet 2008.
En 2009, il doit à nouveau reporter des cocnerts à cause d'une bronchite.
En décembre 2011, il est fait Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres par le ministre de la culture française Frédéric Mitterrand.
Lenny joue le rôle de Cinna, le styliste de Katniss dans les deux premiers films Hunger Games, qui sortent en 2013.
En septmebre l'année suivante, il sort Strut, son dixième album.
Le 1er février 2015, il participe au concert de la mi-temps du Super Bowl avec Katy Perry.
Il joue son premier rôle récurrant à la télévision en 2016, jouant le rôle de Roland Crane dans la série de la Fox Star.
Lenny travaille actuellement sur un nouvel album qui sortira en 2017.
Pour conclure, nous souhaitons un heureux anniversaire et des années de rock à Lenny Kravitz ! ]

Lenny Kravitz, Afropunk Brooklyn Day 2: Green Stage Experience

Lenny Kravitz, Afropunk Brooklyn Day 2: Green Stage Experience

Lenny Kravitz in Soho on September 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Lenny Kravitz in Soho on September 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Lenny Kravitz, awards US

Lenny Kravitz, awards US

Lenny Kravitz & Craig Ross on stage

Lenny Kravitz & Craig Ross on stage

Lenny Kravitz and Steven Tyler during KOS Opening Party at KOS in New York City, NY, US. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Lenny Kravitz and Steven Tyler during KOS Opening Party at KOS in New York City, NY, US. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Lenny Kravitz, MixFest 2004 at Boston Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts, US. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley FilmMagic)

Lenny Kravitz, MixFest 2004 at Boston Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts, US. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley FilmMagic)

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz records acoustic guitar at Battery Studios for the song 'U Will Know' which was released as part of the all-star Jason's Lyric soundtrack in 1994 in New York, New York. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Lenny Kravitz records acoustic guitar at Battery Studios for the song 'U Will Know' which was released as part of the all-star Jason's Lyric soundtrack in 1994 in New York, New York. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Lenny Kravitz performing on stage, circa 1994. (Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images)

Lenny Kravitz performing on stage, circa 1994. (Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns/Getty Images)

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz

Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993)

Lenny Kravitz, Are You Gonna Go My Way (1993)

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