Lenny Kravitz shared an emotional note about Cicely Tyson, the pioneering Black actress and his godmother, who died on Jan. 28 at the age of 96.
“With inimitable style and grace, my dear Godmother Miss Cicely Tyson made her grand exit to the heavens,” Kravitz wrote on Friday (Jan. 29), a day after Tyson’s family and manager issued a statement about her death. “She lived a remarkable life up to the last moment.”
Kravitz lauded his godmother as “a true pioneer, who bared her heart and soul so we could witness the spirit of the characters she so brilliantly portrayed, which continue to move and inspire generations. A Black queen who showed us how beautiful black is.”
Among her many accomplishments, including being the recipient of three Emmy Awards, Tyson was the first African-American to win a lead actress Emmy, for her performance portraying a woman from the 1850s to the civil-rights era in the 1974 CBS telefilm The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She notably received an Oscar nomination for her role in 1972’s Sounder, and she won a Tony award in 2013 for her work in The Trip to Bountiful.
“The love between us was and is tremendous,” Kravitz said in his post. “As long as I have had consciousness, I’ve known Godmother. She and my mother were kindred spirits. Sisters. And after my mother passed, Godmother’s role in my life was amplified. I constantly felt her spirit over me. She always gave me unconditional support. She came to my shows, came over for holidays, met me for dinners, stayed with me in Paris when I first moved there, and never let me too far out of her sight. Our phone calls went on sometimes for hours.”
“We spoke just a few nights ago and talked about everything. She had just sent me her book that has been sitting on my nightstand where it will remain. She did it all, wrote the book, and then God called her. I can hear Godmother saying ‘ok, now y’all can read about it, I’m going home.’ Rest peacefully, Godmother. You did it all exquisitely,” wrote Kravitz, referring to her just-published memoir, Just As I Am.
See his full note in honor of Tyson, as well as a series of personal photos, on Instagram.