Lenny Kravitz Rocks Out With ‘Icon’ Set at People’s Choice Awards

Lenny Kravitz let the music talk, then recounted some of the righteous steps he made along the way in his music career, as the rocker was presented with the Music Icon Award at the 2024 People’s Choice Awards.

On a night when Taylor Swift dominated with four awards, but was unable to attend due to her current touring commitments in Australia, it was Kravitz who rocked the house with a mini-set of his classic hits, and an emotional speech.

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Kravitz and Co. took off with “Fly Away,” and cruised into medley that included ““TK421,” It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over,” “Let Love Rule” and Are You Gonna Go My Way.”

Following the incendiary set, triple Grammy Award winner Victoria Monét present Kravitz with the silverware.

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Considering the meaning of the word “icon,” Kravitz remarks, “It means a lot of things to a lot of people, to me it means you’ve made an indelible mark by being who God created you to be. And, daring to be different.”

More than 35 years ago, before the 11 albums, 40 million records sold, and four Grammys won, Kravitz was a wanted man. And many of those guidance officers, they wanted to change him. “When I was first coming up a lot of people offered me a lot of deals but they wanted me to change. My music wasn’t black enough, it wasn’t white enough. It didn’t fit nicely inside a box. Or sound like what was on the radio at the time,” he explains. “And I turned down the money and the glitzy promises of fame and stardom because I couldn’t live with myself doing something inauthentic.”

An icon, he considers, “is someone who inspires and teaches others to believe in themselves and their direction whatever that direction is.”

Kravitz’s trajectory has “never been about how many records I sell, or how many awards I win, it’s not about trying to write hits, or being calculated or formulaic. Its about enjoying and being grateful for the journey and using the gifts that God gave you and that journey goes how it goes. And it will continue because I’m just doing me.”

The musical journey won’t stop anytime soon. “I was a fan of music long before I was a musician,” he continues. “And my mantra now is the same as it was 35 years ago: never follow the trends, set your own pace and recognize that the best is here right now in front of you.”

During her opening statement, Monét enthused, “We are here to celebrate an undefinable, undeniable, once in a lifetime genius, he is a force.”

Kravitz, she reckons, “defies any singular description. Father, singer, songwriter, producer, kick-ass stage performer, actor, designer, fashion maven, philanthropist, visionary and the king of letting love rule.”

Read Billboard’s recap of the 2024 People’s Choice Awards and the full list of winners here.

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