Lenny Kravitz Discusses Upcoming Two Albums and How Younger Artists “Reinspire” Him Before Hosting 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards 2023
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Lenny Kravitz Discusses Upcoming Two Albums and How Younger Artists “Reinspire” Him Before Hosting 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards 2023

Lenny Kravitz is feeling cool, calm, and collected prior to his award-show hosting debut at the 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards tonight (March 27). “It’s an honor to be here, and I appreciate the invitation,” he says.

“They are like, ‘Did you call LL

About his hosting strategy, Kravitz aims to “keep things mellow” and says he has not reached out to any past hosts for help. “I have not intentionally phoned anyone or observed anything,” he tells Billboard. “They are like, ‘Did you call LL? Have you called Usher? I’ll simply walk up there and do what I must.”

Lenny Kravitz Discusses Upcoming Two Albums and How Younger Artists "Reinspire" Him Before Hosting 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards 2023 3

At November’s induction of Lionel Richie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it was his genuine approach to hosting that drew the eye of longtime friends and iHeart Radio executives John Sykes and Tom Poleman. “He won over the audience,” Sykes declares. “Since he is such a serious artist, he was amusing and connected with the crowd. When we saw this other side of him and contacted him, he responded, “I’d be delighted to do it.”

Over his decades-long career as a boundary-pushing rock musician, the 58-year-old hitmaker has served as an inspiration to generations of young pop singers and artists. When he observes a new generation of Black musicians based in the pop, rock, and alternative genres, Kravitz enjoys witnessing “this artistic freedom.”

Everything was in these extremely tight, black-and-white boxes

Remembering the music industry milieu at the time of his first record contract, he recalls, “Everything was in these extremely tight, black-and-white boxes. Similar to ‘the pop department,’ it signified white, whereas the Black section was R&B.

Kravitz claims that he feels “reinspired” by musicians like Steve Lacy, whom he interviewed in October for the “Bad Habits” singer’s Billboard cover story. “The existence of such artistic freedom makes me feel terrific. I am always impressed and humbled when these artists approach me to express their gratitude. They grew up listening to my music and viewing my graphics and felt empowered to break the limits.”

Poleman and Sykes are planning a “special moment” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, with rap legend LL Cool J assisting in the preparations.

Poleman states, “We thought the Grammys did an excellent job with this.” “He [Cool J] had a brilliant plan for how, in a very short amount of time, he could pay tribute to the musicians that influenced him to go into hip-hop in the 1980s. When DJ Kool Herc played a song at an outdoor party in the Bronx in 1973, a new format was born.”

Kravitz, who spent his formative years in Brooklyn when the roots of hip-hop were germinating, is enthusiastic about the genre’s development but wishes to see more optimism in the future. “Well, in every genre,” he says. “But, things must unfold as they must, and this causes a reaction and transforms into something else. There are excellent musicians and wonderful ideas behind their beats, sounds, and styles.”

The next two albums for Kravitz are “very much cut,” and he is excited to continue his globe tour. He recalls, “I was two years into a three-year global tour when COVID struck.” Hence, I am ecstatic to be returning to the road and sharing my experience with the public.

The 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards will feature nine performances across a variety of genres, including sets by Kravitz, Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Latto, Muni Long, Cody Johnson, and Coldplay, who will perform live from the Brazil stop of its Music of the Spheres World Tour.

“We do not encourage competitiveness. Poleman explains that the objective of the performance is not to determine who is superior; rather, it is to honor the musicians who have reached No. 1 and share their tales. “Many musicians already know they’ve won, so the ceremony is more of a party.”

“This is the first year we’re awarding the most-played artist across all of our genres, and that will be Doja Cat.” She had so many hits, so it’s wonderful to recognize her accomplishments. There are socially voted categories, such as “best sample use in a song.”

Cher, Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills, Donald Faison, H.E.R., Joel McHale, Jordan Davis, Nicole Scherzinger, Nikki Glaser, Phoebe Bridgers, TLC, Vella Lovell, Zach Braff, and more will appear at the award event. The 2023 iHeartRadio Music Awards will air tonight (March 27) at 8 p.m. ET on Fox from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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