It was a family affair on Monday’s 3rd hour of TODAY when Al Roker’s second cousin, Grammy-winning rock star Lenny Kravitz, joined the program while quarantining in the Bahamas to discuss his new memoir, “Let Love Rule,” which chronicles the first 25 years of his life.
“Many people get Lenny Kravitz and I confused, especially when his shirt is off,” Al joked at the top of the show.
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“What’s up, cousin?” Kravitz, 56, said when was introduced later in the program.
Al and Kravitz’ grandfathers were cousins, but their connection runs deeper.
Al has been a staple on TODAY, taped at New York City’s Rockefeller Center, since 1996, and Kravitz said that his parents met there, noting his father, Sy Kravitz, was an assignment editor at NBC News, while his mother, Roxie Roker, was a secretary. Roxie Roker, of course, is best remembered for her role as Helen Willis on the long-running sitcom “The Jeffersons.”
In his book, Kravitz details the complicated relationship he had with his father, noting how it helped him heal some wounds.
“The biggest thing for me was learning about my father and having different eyes in viewing him,” he said.
“We had a very challenging relationship, and I got to look at him as a character and not as my father for the first time and I got to see that he was just a man trying to get through this life experience with what he had, dealing with whatever issues he had in life.
“And it enabled me to drop any bit of judgment that was left and it was beautiful and I really got to understand him. We made peace before my father passed years later. This is beyond the book. I realized that I was still holding onto some things and all of that was let go and it was beautiful.”
Aside from being related to Al, Kravitz is known by more than a few people for his music. He revealed that he is working on an album, which he plans to release “very soon.”
“I really wanted to ask you what it feels to be a rock star,” Sheinelle Jones asked as the conversation drew to a close.
“Ask Al Roker. Al Roker knows what it’s like to be a rock star because he is one,” Kravitz joked.
“I learned from you, cuz. Thanks so much,” Al responded.