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And when I finally did accept myself for myself, music started flowing out of me." Kravitz released his début album Let Love Rule on September 6, 1989, a combination of rock and funk with a 1960s vibe.Music critics were mixed: some felt Kravitz was a gifted new artist, others felt he was overpowered by his musical influences.He was exposed to the soul music of Motown, Stax, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers, and Gamble and Huff growing up who were key influences on his musical style.Kravitz often went to see New York theater, where his mother worked.Kravitz was named after his uncle, Private First Class Leonard M.
In less than a month of shopping the recordings, five labels (Warner Bros, Elektra, Geffen, Capitol and Virgin) were in a bidding war for Kravitz.His father, who was also a jazz promoter, was friends with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, Miles Davis and other jazz greats.Ellington even played "Happy Birthday" for him one year when he was about 5.Kravitz grew up spending weekdays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with his parents, attending P. 6 for elementary school, and weekends at his grandmother Bessie Roker's house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, jazz, classical, opera, gospel, and blues.Kravitz began banging on pots and pans in the kitchen, playing them as drums at the age of three. "My parents were very supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, and they took me to a lot of shows," Kravitz said.