At 56, Lenny Kravitz is still one of the coolest and sexiest musicians ever. The singer-songwriter, actor, and designer (he owns a boutique design firm for high-end hotels) is not just an award-winning rockstar.
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 as well as setting the record for most consecutive wins in one category by a male. He’s also dad to one of the coolest young actresses out there, Zoe Kravitz, and cousin to weatherman and Good Morning America anchor, Al Roker, which makes Al cool too.
An only child, Lenny is the product of interracial marriage. His father, Sy Kravitz, is Jewish; his mother, Roxie Roker, who died of cancer in 1995, was an African American and one of the co-stars on the hit show, The Jeffersons. As a bi-racial child in the 1960s, endured an onslaught of prejudicial remarks.
So what makes him so cool? He’s not afraid to learn from his mistakes, his victories and his journey. Here are four pieces of wisdom Lenny has learned that made him the man he is today:
1. Be the Better Man
“I believe in God, and I’m trying to always to be a better man,” Lenny Tells Men’s Health. “I was in my hotel waiting for the elevator and this old man started yelling at me. He wanted to get on the elevator and in his mind, though I was standing against the wall, I was somehow in his way. He just started yelling at me. At that moment, you have a choice to make: you can yell back, you can curse him. But I said, ‘Oh, sir. God bless you. Have a beautiful day.’ Which just pissed him off more. [Laughs] He just kept yelling at me. But you have a choice, always, about how you’re going to behave and what kind of point of view and action you’re going to live.”
2. Love What You’ve Got
“I appreciate the blessings that I have,” says Lenny.
He adds, “I don’t have a sense of entitlement. I don’t take anything for granted. I’m not owed anything in this life. Having appreciation is a gift unto itself. There are a lot of people I see who have everything—no limit, everything—and many of them have no gratitude for it and they don’t enjoy anything. That’s horrible. ‘I’ll be happy when. . .’ is a death sentence, man. You’d better be happy now! You can’t wait for the job or the house or the woman. Love what you’ve got.”
3. Follow Your Body
“I was vegetarian for many, many years, but I woke up one day craving meat. After, like, 15 years, I woke up and it was, like, ‘I need meat.’ So I followed my body. I did the whole grass-fed, organic, best-quality thing. Now…