Lenny Kravitz Signs with Kobalt Label Services; New Album Due Out in September

Ellen Von Unwerth

The rocker joins the Pet Shop Boys, Boy George, Martina McBride and David Gray on the Kobalt roster.

Lenny Kravitz has signed a worldwide agreement with Kobalt Label Services, which will release and promote his upcoming 10th studio album, Strut, due out on 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.

The four-time Grammy winner has sold more than 38 million records worldwide and was signed to his first label, Virgin Records, over 20 years ago. Black and White America, his last album, was released through Roadrunner/Atlantic in 2011 and sold 61,000 copies 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 shares a high artistic view, and I am confident they that are the right partner to carry out my creative vision for this album."

Added Richard Sanders, president of Kobalt Music Group: “We are thrilled to be working with Lenny and the Roxie Records team. Lenny is in peak creative form, writing and recording what we believe is some of his best material yet.”

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 has been around since 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.

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According to Kobalt Music Group’s last revenue announcement, the company increased its gross revenues 40 percent 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 percent to $250 million.

Kravitz’s pursuits beyond music include acting (Precious, The Hunger Games films, The Butler) and design. In 2003 he launched Kravitz Design Inc. which offers commercial and residential design services, product development and branding. Among his clients: Queen Latifah who hired Kravitz to curate the look of her talk show studio.