Lenny Kravitz Releasing New Album ‘Strut’ In September Though Kobalt Label Services (Exclusive)

Ellen von Unwerth
Lenny Kravitz photographed by Ellen von Unwerth

Lenny Kravitz has signed a worldwide agreement with Kobalt Label Services (KLS), which will release and promote his upcoming tenth studio album “Strut” due out Sept. 23. The album will be released through Kravitz’s Roxie Records imprint. An upcoming Kravitz tour is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Kravitz is managed by Craig Fruin and Howard Kaufman. On Kobalt's end Richard Sanders, president of Kobalt Music Group and Chairman of KLS; Paul Hitchman, KLS MD; and Diarmuid Quinn, president, KLS North America worked on the agreement.

The four-time Grammy winner has sold more than 38 million records worldwide and was signed to his first label, Virgin Records, for over 20 years. “Black and White America", his last album, was released through Roadrunner/Atlantic in 2011 and sold 61,000 to date in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.  

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"I am looking forward to my partnership with Kobalt,” Kravitz said in a statement. “They have a passionate team that share a high artistic view and I am confident they that are the right partner to carry out my creative vision for this album."

Kobalt launched its label services division in January of 2013 with Nick Cave’s “Push the Sky Away,” and has since expanded its roster to include the Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, Martina McBride and David Gray. Its publishing division, which began in 2001, has signed administration deals with a number of high profile artists, including Dave Grohl, Maroon 5, Paul McCartney’s MPL Communications, Dr. Luke, Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, the Miles Davis estate and Skrillex.

 “We are thrilled to be working with Lenny and the Roxie Records team," Sanders commented. "Lenny is in peak creative form, writing and recording what we believe is some of his best material yet.”

According to Kobalt Music Group’s last earnings announcement, the company increased its gross revenues 40% to $175 million between July 2012 and June 2013. In January, the company forecasted for the financial year ending in 2014 its gross revenues would grow another 45% to $250 million. In March 2014 Michael Dell’s MSD Capital private investment firm took a 9.9% stake in Kobalt paying a reported $25 million for its share.

KLS' Physical distribution in the U.S. is through Super D Alliance while digital distribution globally is though Kobalt's wholly owned AWAL platform.

Kravitz’s pursuits beyond music include design and acting landing notable roles in “Precious,” “The Hunger Games" (playing Katniss' stylist Cinna) and Lee Daniels' “The Butler." In 2003 he launched Kravitz Design Inc. which offers commercial and residential design services, product development and branding.


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