PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Lenny Kravitz
Aired December 21, 2011 – 21:00 ET
MORGAN: Of all of the things that you’ve experienced in your extraordinary career and life, if I could give you five minutes to replay one of them again, what would it be? What’s been the most magical? Forget women or children or births of a child. Obviously, that’s different. But what’s the career moment where if you had the chance, you’d relive it?
KRAVITZ: The career moment. Wow. You know, I – I’ve had so many where I had to pinch myself.
MORGAN: What was the biggest pinch?
KRAVITZ: Being – probably producing Michael Jackson. And there’s been a lot of great ones, but that was something extraordinary.
MORGAN: What made it so extraordinary?
KRAVITZ: Well, the fact that, you know, I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t seen the Jackson Five when I was six years old. That was the first concert that I had ever been to. My father took me to Madison Square Garden to see them. And it changed everything.
The universe was a different place the next day. I was completely blown away by the music, the talent, the whole experience. And here I am in the studio. I had written a song for Michael. And he’s standing there, telling me to be very hard on him, I want to do this exactly the way you see it, so stop me every time it’s not the way you want it and so forth.
And we’re just getting into it. We’re working together. And we ended up spending, you know, a week together in the studio. It was just unbelievable.
MORGAN: What kind after man was he? For real.
KRAVITZ: I thought that he, first of all, was just a beautiful being. Extremely professional, a perfectionist. Still having the passion all those years later, you know? He would stay, work all day and night, come back the next day, all day and night. He hadn’t lost that.
A great father. He was amazing with his children. I spent time with the kids. We were all in the studio. Zoe would come and we would all hang out together. He was a very good father. And he was funny. Very funny.
MORGAN: Great sense of humor.
KRAVITZ: We laughed all the time. And he could eat more than you think.
MORGAN: Really? He had all of the energy to burn off, all of the dancing.
MORGAN: Incredible talent. The greatest I’ve ever seen.
KRAVITZ: The greatest ever. I would agree with that.
MORGAN: How did you feel when you heard what happened to him? And there’s sort of mixed thoughts from people that knew him well, that there was a kind of inevitability in the way his life was going, and that actually for somebody like Michael Jackson – I don’t want this to sound callus – but actually not getting old may have been something that wouldn’t have been his worst nightmare.
KRAVITZ: It was interesting. I heard you speaking to Jane Fonda about that. She had spoken about that. I mean, I was obviously devastated. I was blown away. I found out on stage in Scotland, as I was coming off and getting ready to go back on for an encore. And they told me and I had to go back out.
I mean, I – it’s – it’s extremely sad. I mean, I – I was really looking forward to seeing him come back and do those shows, even though I knew, like, wow, 50 shows, that’s – that’s really serious.
MORGAN: I mean, is his legacy going to be that, of our lifetime – because you get the older generation saying Sammy Davis pretty well the greatest entertainer of that era, whatever. Do you think of our lifetime, Michael Jackson was the best? KRAVITZ: Of course. You can’t touch it.
MORGAN: The greatest naturally gifted, as you said earlier?
MORGAN: Entertainer of them all?
KRAVITZ: Yes, completely. I think people – people think about Michael Jackson and his solo career, which was obviously phenomenal. But the deepest genius I saw him in was when he was a child. I think that he was – he was a child and he sang with the same talent and soul and intensity of an Aretha Franklin or a James Brown or any great vocalist.