Lenny Kravitz was sexy before he was interesting. Prone to feather boas and shirtlessness, Kravitz spent the better part of two decades making radio-ready singles, strutting around in leather pants, and carving out a spot for himself as Top 40's erotic god. But as good-looking as he was -- and he was stupidly, absurdly, mind-boggling good-looking -- there was something a bit shallow about the guy. "We've got to hug and rub-a-dub/ We've got to dance and be in love," he sang in his 1993 hit "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" Hmm. Do we really?
Don't get us wrong: As a musician, Lenny Kravitz delivered. He gave us delicious guitar licks, steamy pinups, smoldering videos, overheated, dirty songs, a celebrity marriage to Lisa Bonet. There was nothing wrong, or necessarily bad, or offensive about Lenny Kravitz. There was just something a little, you know, predictable.
But this year, Lenny Kravitz did something quite unpredictable. He gave a surprisingly muted, compassionate performance in Lee Daniels' critically adored "Precious." His role as Nurse John is a nifty foil to his infamous stadium persona: Gone are the aviator glasses and Versace in favor of scrubs and a soft, beaten look in his eyes. Even his appearances on the red carpet were less flashy. He's replaced the fashionistas who once accompanied him to ritzy premieres with his current companion, his (heartstoppingly beautiful) daughter Zoe. Lenny Kravitz has always been sexy, yes, but he's finally managed to emerge from rock cliché. Now that's hot.