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, soul, R&B, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz often plays all the guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and percussion himself when recording. He is known for his elaborate stage performances and music videos.
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 and most consecutive wins in one category for a male. 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. On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He played the role of Cinna in the film The Hunger Games.
Kravitz was born in New York City on May 26, 1964. 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. His father was Jewish (from a family with origins in Russia); his mother was of Bahamian and African-American descent, and was from a Christian family. Kravitz was named after his uncle, Private First Class Leonard Kravitz, who was killed in action in the Korean War at the age of 20 while defending against a Chinese attack and saving most of his platoon; he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Kravitz grew up spending weekdays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his parents, attending P.S.6 for elementary school, and weekends at his grandmother Bessie Roker's house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.