Lenny Kravitz is the latest superstar to step into Prince’s platform shoes. The “Let Love Rule” rocker will pay tribute to the late music icon at the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, according to Entertainment Weekly. Kravitz and Prince were longtime friends and they performed together many times over the three decades before Prince’s death last year. In fact, there may be no other artist whose musical DNA is so closely matched with that of the late “Purple Rain” singer.
Kravitz posted about his upcoming Rock Hall tribute to Twitter, saying that the performance will be a very personal thing for him.
“Getting ready to honor my friend Prince at the @rockhall ceremony,” Lenny tweeted. “This is very personal for me and I so wish it wasn’t for this reason.”
After Prince’s sudden death on April 21, 2016, Lenny Kravitz penned an emotional tribute to Rolling Stone, revealing that his death deeply affected him.
“I still haven’t really recovered,” Lenny wrote.
“Not to be dramatic or overly sensitive, but I really feel like a piece of me died… He was a mentor and then someone I got to know as a friend and play with. So when he left, a part of me really went too.”
Lenny Kravitz reminisced about the first time he ever heard a Prince song, “I Wanna be Your Lover,” on the radio back in 1979, but he described the release of the Dirty Minds album the following year as a “pivotal” moment for him and his own career.
“Here was an African-American cat, skin color like mine was, playing the guitar like I wanted to play,” Lenny wrote.
“Obviously I would have been into Jimi Hendrix as that prime example, but this person was alive. This person was doing his thing right in front of me. So he had a very deep impact on me.”
Kravitz also revealed that when he later met Prince and hung out with him, they not only played music, but they played pool and ping pong together. Lenny also jammed with his mentor on stage multiple times, most notably at his “Rave Un2 the Year 2000” concert.
When the shocking news about Prince’s death was announced last April, Lenny Kravitz posted his emotional reaction on Instagram, captioning a photo of his “musical brother” with a poignant message.
“My musical brother… My friend… The one who showed me the possibilities within myself, changed everything, and kept his integrity until the end, is gone. I am heartbroken,” Lenny wrote.
Of course, while they were close friends, Lenny Kravitz has some big shoes to fill when it comes to Prince tributes. Last spring, Madonna’s highly-publicized tribute to the late star at the Billboard Music Awards included performances of “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain,” and a surprise duet with Stevie Wonder.
And last June, the Purple One’s longtime collaborator Sheila E. pulled off an incredible tribute performance at the BET Awards. “The Glamorous Life” singer was accompanied by the Time’s Jerome Benton and Prince’s ex-wife, dancer Mayte Garcia, for a supersized tribute, which includes a medley of Prince-penned hits like “Erotic City,” “Let’s Work,” and “Baby, I’m a Star.”
Lenny Kravitz will pay tribute to Prince on April 7 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will also include the long-awaited inductions of Yes, Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, and Joan Baez, will air April 29 on HBO.
Take a look at the video below to see Lenny Kravitz and Prince performing the song “American Woman” together.
[Featured Image by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Victoria’s Secret]