UPDATED 12/4, 11:43 a.m. ET: Lenny Kravitz has issued a statement following extensive media coverage of his recent comments referencing BET and The Source.
In the statement, Kravitz pointed out a key misunderstanding of his Esquire-delivered remarks that was largely ignored, namely that he was referring to awards shows, not the outlets themselves. He also highlighted the larger history of rock & roll, specifically how the genre was pioneered by Black artists, despite how it's often presented to the world.
"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," Kravitz 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."
See his full statement below.
See original story below.
During a recently published conversation with Madison Vain for Esquire, Kravitz said he has “reintroduced many Black art forms” throughout his decades-long career.
“To this day, I have not been invited to a BET thing or a Source Awards thing,” Kravitz told Vain. “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?”
While Kravitz has received news coverage from BET, including a video interview in January centered on his part in the film Shotgun Wedding, the Blue Electric Light artist's latest comments appear to be focused more on award shows and related accolades
According to Kravitz, his success isn’t “celebrated by the folks who run those publications or organizations.” But on the topic of accolades, more generally, Kravitz noted he's "not here" for that; instead, he's "here for the experience."
With the release of the Tanu Muino -directed "TK421" video in October, Kravitz signaled the impending arrival of his first new studio album in more than five years, Blue Electric Light.
Kravitz's "Road to Freedom," meanwhile, was recently featured in the Netflix film Rustin, starring Colman Domingo. According to director George C. Wolfe, Kravitz’s voice was “viscerally perfect for the end of the film.”