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Lenny Kravitz gives inspiring speech as he accepts People’s Choice Music Icon Award

<i>Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images</i><br/>Lenny Kravitz accepts the Music Icon Award onstage during the 2024 People's Choice Awards on Sunday.
Rich Polk/NBC via Getty Images
Lenny Kravitz accepts the Music Icon Award onstage during the 2024 People's Choice Awards on Sunday.

By Marianne Garvey, CNN

(CNN) — The seemingly ageless Lenny Kravitz has always gone his own way.

Kravitz accepted the Music Icon Award at the 2024 People’s Choice Awards on Sunday, marking the honor with a performance of his hits and an emotional speech.

“When I was thinking about what to say tonight, I kept going back to that word icon,” he said. “It means a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me, it means you’ve made an indelible mark by being who God created you to be and daring to be different. When I was first coming up, a lot of people offered me a lot of deals. But they wanted me to change.”

He continued: “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, and I turned down the money and the glitzy promises of fame, and stardom because I couldn’t live with myself doing something inauthentic.”

Kravitz reflected on his 35 years as a recording artist.

“It’s never been about how many records I sell, or how many awards I win,” he said. “It’s not about trying to write hits or being calculated or formulaic. It’s about enjoying and being grateful for the journey and using the gifts that God gave you. Never follow the trends. Set your own pace and recognize that the best is right here, right now, in front of you.”

Kravitz also thanked his parents Sy Kravitz and Roxie Roker for “taking me to all those amazing concerts when I was a kid instead of leaving me home with the babysitter.”

“Blue Electric Light,” his upcoming 12th studio album, is set for release in May. Kravitz will follow that with a European tour this summer.

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