Lenny Kravitz was born on May 26, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York. His first album, Let Love Rule, was released in 1989 and ranked No. 61 on the Billboard charts. The title track made No. 89 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. While Kravitz’s debut album, which exemplified his own eclectic blend of rock influences, was moderately successful, he didn’t achieve widespread fame until Madonna covered his song, “Justify My Love,” in 1990. Kravitz put out his sophomore album, Mama Said, in 1991. The album, inspired by his painful divorce from Lisa Bonet, made the Top 40 on the Billboard charts. The song “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” was a huge hit, ranking as high as No. 2 on the charts.
In 1993, Kravitz released Are you Gonna Go My Way and snagged an MTV Video Music Award for his video of the album’s title track. Circus (1995) rose to No. 10 on the Billboard charts, as fans of Kravitz’s past work clamored to purchase his latest album. When creating his album Five (1998), Kravitz began toying with digital technology. The experiment proved a huge success, landing him his first Grammy Award for best male rock vocal performances.
In 2000, Kravitz released a greatest hits compilation album. Two years later, he was invited to appear on a Guns N’ Roses track. The following year, he released a new album, Lenny.
Kravitz protested the U.S. invasion of Iraq by releasing a download-only song called “We Want Peace” in 2003. His 2004 album, Baptism, expressed his renewed enthusiasm for making music. Baptism was followed by the albums It is Time for a Love Revolution (2008) and Black and White America (2011).
In 2009, Kravitz made his big-screen debut in the Oscar-nominated movie Precious. He also had a small part in the film The Hunger Games (2012). In recent years, he moved to a tiny island in the Bahamas—where he has found peace and inspiration in living simply.
In 2013, Kravitz returned to the big screen with the Lee Daniels film The Butler starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He also wrote a song for the film’s soundtrack. Later that year, Kravitz reprised his Hunger Games role in the trilogy’s next installment Catching Fire.’