"The comment I made was not about 'black media' or the 'black community.' I was specifically referring to black award shows in particular," the rocker wrote on Instagram
The rock star, 59, posted to his Instagram Story on Monday to clarify what he meant when he said that he feels like his music and success “is not celebrated by the folks who run” Black media outlets, and pointed out that he’s never been invited to the BET Awards or Source Awards. In his statement, the Grammy winner explained that he was “specifically referring to Black award shows,” and expressed his hopes that rock music will continued to be recognized in those spaces.
“It is important to me to set the record straight on recent media reports based on an interview I did,” Kravitz began the statement on his Story. “My Black musical heritage means a lot to me, and I owe my success to my supporters who have taken this journey with me over the span of my career.”
The singer/guitarist continued, “The comment I made was not about ‘Black media’ or the ‘Black community.’ I was specifically referring to black award shows in particular.”
“My comment was meant to express a concern about ensuring that black artists are being recognized for their work in what is now being called ‘non traditional’ Black music, which it is not,” the hitmaker wrote. “Rock and roll is the music we were instrumental in creating and is a part of our history. We must retain our heritage and celebrate that together.”
“BET and countless others have paved the way for this type of recognition. I hope that by sharing my concern a spotlight will be shone on this issue,” he concluded his statement. “Love and peace.”
Last week, the "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over" artist gained a great deal of attention across social media and in the news for his comments in Esquire about the matter. In the interview, he pointed out that he wasn’t on the cover of Vibe magazine until nearly a decade into his career and said, “To this day, I have not been invited to a BET thing or a Source Awards thing.”
The rocker shared, “And it’s like, here is a Black artist who has reintroduced many Black art forms, who has broken down barriers — just like those that came before me broke down. That is positive. And they don’t have anything to say about it?”
“I have been that dream and example of what a Black artist can do,” he added.
While the singer-songwriter expressed his frustrations, he also added that he’s “not here for the accolades,” but rather “for the experience.”
In addition to talking about Black award shows in the Esquire article, the “American Woman” singer also opened up about how challenging it was to feel like he was underestimated by white critics at the start of his career in the ‘90s. “There was this one article that, at that time, said, ‘If Lenny Kravitz were white, he would be the next savior of rock ’n’ roll,’” he told the outlet. “I got a lot of negativity thrown at me by all these older white men who weren’t going to let me have that position.”
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Next year, the singer/actor will release his first full-length album in over five years. His 12th studio album and follow-up to 2018's Raise Vibration, Blue Electric Light, will arrive on March 15 (via Roxie and BMG).
In October, he dropped the lead single for the project, “TK421.” The track dropped along with its NSFW music video in which he stripped down while dancing to the infectious rock tune.
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