Dear Lenny Kravitz, Incandescent riffs like sensual caniff blows on the web of rhythm. Virtuoso intuitions, that of a polyinstrumentalist who electrifies his audience. You are one of the most brilliant artists of your generation, who will have drawn inspiration from the best sources: the pots and pans you used when you were a child, the Jackson 5, the ingenious Prince, the jazz-funk movement of the last Miles Davis, David Bowie, Jimmy Hendrix, Mick Jagger. In your ideal discotheque, there is also Gospel, Reggae, psychedelic rock, folk. When you’re used to running into Count Basie or Ella Fitzgerald at home, a cup of coffee in your hand, which Duke Ellington interprets as “Happy Birthday” in your honour, it’s hard to be a dull personality.
A musician with an unbridled style, a fan of the «black and white», that of your Ukrainian and Bahamian origins, freed from the barriers between black and white sound, you are wary of codes
colors, dress codes, musical codes; it is the secret of your success, which makes you gravitate today among the greatest stars of rock.
After an easy New York childhood with your parents, Sy Kravitz, television producer and Roxie Roker, star of the small screen, it is once your family settled in California that you rub the classical repertoire in the California Boys choir. You quietly attend Beverly Hills High School where you meet guitarist Saul Hudson, aka Slash.
Seduced by a bohemian life, you leave the family home very young. Under the pseudonym «Romeo Blue», your first performances are influenced by Prince. In 1985, you meet the musician and sound engineer Henry Hirsch, then you are joined by saxophonist Karl Denson, who over the years you find on most of your achievements.
In 1989, «Romeo Blue» gave way to Lenny Kravitz. It is under your name that you sign a contract with Virgin for your first album Let Love Rule. In France, you are acclaimed and praised by the critics, following your passage to the Transmusicales of Rennes. The following year, you compose Justify my love for Madonna, a scandal-ridden song that takes you to the top of the charts. Then it was Mama Said, your second album, which achieved international success thanks to hits that have become classics, such as It ain’t over till it’s over deeply influenced by Led Zeppelin, Always on the run or Stand by my woman, co-written with Slash. At that time, you also met Vanessa Paradis, for whom you will compose an eponymous album.
A year later, it’s Are you gonna go my way that elevates you to the status of international rock star and brings you the recognition of your peers. This paves the way for many collaborations and duos with the most prestigious names: Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler of the «Aerosmith» group, Curtis Mayfield, Al Green or Stevie Wonder.
For your fifth album, 5, you rub shoulders with the digital technology of sound processing. With a new inspiration, rich in all your musical culture, the album reigns for a year in the American charts, with titles like Fly away or I belong to you.
You then reap the glory; for four consecutive years, the Grammy Awards are there. It’s hard to go over all your opus. I’ll just quote the latest Black and
White America, very accomplished and eminently personal.
Behind the rock star with the heady grooves, the eph-legged trousers and the bad guy’s glasses, there is the personal universe of Lenny Kravitz, without frills, with the sky, the sun, the sea in the Bahamas, your studio on the island of Eleuthera, your Parisian pied-à-terre where you live half the year, the farm in Brazil, and of course your daughter – when you’re not exploring new fields of play for your creativity, in the cinema or in the world of design: you created pop lights for Swarovski, and Philippe Starck put you on the top floor of the future Miami SLS hotel.
Because you are a French idol as you are an American idol, dear Lenny Kravitz, on behalf of the French Republic, we present you with the insignia of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des