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Lenny Kravitz sets record straight on Black Awards controversy

Lenny Kravitz

Iconic rock star Lenny Kravitz has clarified his comments regarding his absence from Black Awards programs, emphasizing that his concerns were not directed at Black-owned media companies. In response to his comments to Esquire, the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Let It Be Known digital news broadcast had taken Kravitz to task, questioning whether Kravitz or his publicists and handlers were ignoring Black media. The National Newspaper Publishers Association is the trade association of over 230 African American-owned newspapers and media companies comprising the 197-year-old Black Press of America. The show also tweeted at Kravitz on X, inviting him to explain why he chose to take his beef to mainstream media if he had been concerned about the Black Press.

In a statement, Kravitz expressed the importance of setting the record straight. “It is important to me to set the record straight on recent media reports based on an interview I did,” Kravitz said. “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 comment I made was not about ‘Black media’ or the ‘Black community.’ I was specifically referring to Black award shows in particular.” Kravitz, whose biggest hits include ‘American Woman,’ and ‘It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over,’ insisted that his comments were meant to express concern about ensuring that Black artists are recognized for their work in what is now being called ‘non-traditional’ Black music.

“Rock and Roll is the music we were instrumental in creating and is a part of our history,” he said. “We must retain our heritage and celebrate that together.”

In his comments to Esquire that initially raised comments, Kravitz, a four-time Grammy winner, questioned why Black entertainment publications didn’t celebrate his success and expressed disappointment at never receiving invitations to events like the BET or Source Awards. “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?” he stated in the interview. Kravitz later acknowledged the contributions of networks like BET and others. “BET and countless others have paved the way for this type of recognition,” Kravitz said. “I hope that by sharing my concern, a spotlight will be shone on this issue. Love and peace.”

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