For Lenny Kravitz, it’s all about love. In all its forms—personal, familial, religious, planetary—love has been the singular theme running through his nearly two decades of chart-topping music. Not surprisingly, then, he’s been called a hippie since Let Love Rule, his 1989 debut. Critics have fallen back on cliché again with his new release, It Is Time for a Love Revolution, for which he begins a world tour this May. But Kravitz wants the haters to get over it. In fact, he wants us all to get over it. “Since when did love, peace, taking care of your planet, taking care of each other, and not fighting just have to do with being a hippie?” he asks. “It’s not about hippies or the ’60s. It’s about right now.”

Disdaining labels of all kinds, Kravitz doesn’t want to be called an environmentalist either; he says he’s just another guy trying to make a difference, flaws and all. Plenty caught up with the singer in Paris to see how his colorful past is catching up with the green present.

  1. Favorite place on earth My 1,000-acre organic farm in Brazil outside Rio de Janeiro. It’s completely self-sufficient. When you open the tap in the house, local spring water comes through the pipes. A waterfall from the spring turns a wheel to make electricity. 
  2. Environmental pet peeve [People] don’t understand their power as individuals. The love revolution is you. Whatever you put out into the world today should be love and peace. I am trying to live in love, so turn the damn light off.  No, but seriously I love stereo products and technology, but when you’re done, they should shut down—the TV is off, but the red light is on. Standby mode drives me crazy
  3. Eco hero Explorer Mike Horn circumnavigated the world along the equator to raise people’s awareness of the environment, to show them firsthand what’s going on. He’s not just talking about it but doing it, and sometimes on incredibly dangerous trips.
  4. Topic that occupies way too much of his brain Finding a wife.
  5. Favorite musician right now Gil Scott-Heron. 
  6. Green car of choice I sold all my cars. But did I get in a car today that is not a hybrid? Yes, I did. I have to be truthful. We’re all hypocrites sometimes.
  7. Noteworthy eco sin The occasional private jet. I used to take them more, but I stopped. I fly as little as I have to. When I wasn’t touring, for example, I didn’t fly for almost two years.
  8. Unheralded skill  Design. But people are starting to hear about it through some projects I’ve done. I think my design talent is pretty equal to my musical talent.
  9. Ideal carpool partners  Barack Obama, Cornel West, Sade.
  10. Title of his memoir-to-date The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 
Story by Adam Spangler. This article originally appeared in Plenty in July 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008

Lenny Kravitz: Eco-star
Lenny Kravitz is just a guy trying to make a difference. And he is.