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A Look Back at Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet's Relationship: From Spouses to “Best Friends”

The singer and actress met backstage at a concert in 1985

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz attend the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz attend the "China: Through The Looking Glass" Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.

Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet's romantic relationship might not have lasted, but decades after their divorce, their friendship is still strong.

The Grammy-winning artist and The Cosby Show actress met in an elevator during a concert in 1985. By then, Kravitz had spotted Bonet on the popular family sitcom and was nervous coming face-to-face with her.

As he wrote in his memoir Let Love Rule, "My heart started racing. I didn't know what to say, but I had to say something. I knew this chance meeting was my only opportunity. I couldn't blow it."

The two became fast friends and within a few years, they began dating. Kravis and Bonet married in November 1987 on her 20th birthday and later celebrated the birth of their daughter, Zoë Kravitz, the following year.

Related: All About Zoë Kravitz's Relationship with Parents Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet

Kravitz and Bonet separated in 1991 and divorced two years later. Since then, the former couple have maintained a close friendship and the singer speaks fondly of their time together.

"I am what I am because of our experience, because of everything that I was, everything that she was and everything that came together," he told PEOPLE in his 2024 cover story.

Here's a look at Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet's relationship timeline.

1985: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet meet at a New Edition concert

Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet in New York City in 1987.
Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet in New York City in 1987.

Kravitz admitted he wasn't exactly the coolest when he and Bonet met backstage at a New Edition concert in 1985. The "Are You Going to Go My Way" singer recalled in his memoir Let Love Rule that he was in an elevator when Bonet stepped in.

At the time, Bonet was a major television star, and Kravitz was an aspiring artist. He faltered and told Bonet that he liked her hair and despite the fleeting moment, the two had a second opportunity to interact backstage.

"We vibed immediately. Time stood still. Without a lot being said, there was magnetism. I'd never had an encounter like it before. We were from the same tribe," Kravitz wrote in his book.

1985: Lenny Kravitz moves into Lisa Bonet's home

According to Rolling Stone, after Kravitz and Bonet became friends, they moved in together as roommates and eventually began dating. Their friendship deepened when Bonet let Kravitz sleep on her couch.

In a 2020 interview with Oprah Daily, Kravitz explains that, at the time, living on the couches of others wasn't unusual for him. He said, "Even as a teenager, I turned down record deals and people telling me they were going to make me a star, though I was frequently living on somebody's couch. I instinctively knew which doors were not to be walked through. My spirit wouldn't allow me."

Still, there was something special about Bonet that made him want to challenge himself creatively.

"When I met her, I was still calling myself Romeo Blue — I wasn't yet comfortable being Lenny Kravitz. I was still asking myself who I was and what I was trying to do," he added. "I saw myself in Lisa, and our whole love story opened up my life to the next plateau. It allowed the music to pour into me without me having to try."

November 16, 1987: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet marry

Kravitz and Bonet eloped at A Chapel of Love in Las Vegas on November 16, 1987, which also happened to be Bonet's 20th birthday.

Kravitz revealed to Rolling Stone that he was often referred to as Mr. Bonet during their relationship but it didn't faze him. He shared a similar sentiment in a 2024 interview with PEOPLE.

"I was married to the most beautiful woman on the planet, incredible inside and out, and I wasn’t paying attention to that," he said. "I was paying attention to the music."

December 1, 1988: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet welcome their daughter Zoë Kravitz

Barry King/WireImage Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz
Barry King/WireImage Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz

Kravitz and Bonet celebrated the birth of their daughter, Zoë, on Dec. 1, 1988. Bonet later told Honey magazine that the experience transformed her life in a lot of ways.

"Having Zoë saved my life," she said. "It was my wake up call [about growing up.] There were so many things I didn't want to pass on to her so I really made a decision to change [into a better person]."

Kravitz opened up to PEOPLE about what it was like having their daughter as part of the mix and agreed with Bonet that it was a one-of-a-kind experience.

"We were quite the family," he shared. "We had our own groove, expression, fashion. It was a beautiful time. The world Zoë’s mom and I were creating, our family, it was about peace, love and spirit.”

1989: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet collaborate on Let Love Rule

Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Lenny Kravitz with Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz at a press conference in Lincoln Center, New York City in 1989.
Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Lenny Kravitz with Lisa Bonet and Zoe Kravitz at a press conference in Lincoln Center, New York City in 1989.

Kravitz released his album Let Love Rule in September 1989, and the record was a labor of love that both he and Bonet contributed to.

In an interview with Men's Health, Kravitz shares that Bonet co-wrote two of the songs and her artistic style influenced him as a whole.

"It was the first time I'd opened up like that, and had known love like that, and freedom," he told the outlet. "And watching her do what she did, how she maneuvered, in her artistic life — it was that last thing I needed, on this road."

1991: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet separate

Kravitz and Bonet split in 1991 before officially divorcing in 1993. Though the former couple didn't share details behind their separation, Kravitz chronicled its end in his album Mama Said, released in April 1991. Most notably, he dedicated the hit song "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over" to the actress.

"I still love her very much," he told The New York Times in 1993. "More than she'll ever know."

The year after their separation, Bonet and Zoë moved out to Canyon, California. In a 2020 interview with The New York Times, Zoë explained her mother wanted her to be out in nature where she could use her imagination.

When Zoë was 11, she went to live with her dad in Miami, Florida. According to Bonet, it was a chance for their daughter to get to know Kravitz, and he welcomed her with open arms.

“It really helped me to focus my life,” he told the newspaper. “I was running around the world touring, man ... I had to make some lifestyle changes.”

1995: Lenny Kravitz admits he was in "tremendous pain" following their split

Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG Lenny Kravitz at the VH-1 Music Awards.
Mitchell Gerber/Corbis/VCG Lenny Kravitz at the VH-1 Music Awards.

Kravitz and Bonet kept quiet about their divorce in the following years, but in a November 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Kravitz said it was a difficult time for him.

"I was in a tremendous amount of pain when we broke up, tremendous," he said. "For, like, six months, I only slept for two hours a day, from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m."

"The rest of the time I was just up, like a zombie. I was floored. The album was my way of releasing it somehow," Kravitz added, referencing Mama Said.

2005: Lenny Kravitz is supportive of Lisa Bonet's relationship with Jason Momoa

<p>Alexandra Wyman/WireImage</p> Jason Momoa, Lisa Bonet, Lenny Kravitz and Zoe Kravitz on February 25, 2010.

Alexandra Wyman/WireImage

Jason Momoa, Lisa Bonet, Lenny Kravitz and Zoe Kravitz on February 25, 2010.

Bonet met actor Jason Momoa at a jazz club in Los Angeles, and they hit it off. The pair welcomed their first child, daughter Lola, on July 21, 2007. The following year, Bonet and Momoa announced the birth of their son, Nakoa-Wolf, on Dec. 15, 2008.

The couple began referring to one another as husband and wife, and ultimately got married in a secret ceremony in 2017.

Kravitz was nothing but supportive of Bonet and Momoa's relationship. In 2019, he told The Times that the Aquaman star was "like a brother to me" before revealing of their blended family, "It's beautiful, but it takes work."

2013: Lenny Kravitz says he and Lisa Bonet are "best friends"

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Lenny Kravitz and Zoe Kravitz arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Lenny Kravitz and Zoe Kravitz arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

In an episode of Oprah's Master Class, Kravitz opened up about how his relationship with Bonet continued developing after their split, eventually coming full circle for them.

"What I took from all the experiences that I had as far as being married and going through divorce and then having to get the relationship back on track as far as being friends and being family and raising a daughter was that you gotta keep moving. You gotta keep moving forward and upward," he said.

The "Fly Away" singer called their romance "magical" and credited Bonet for bringing out the best in him. Although their relationship didn't pan out, Kravitz still looked back at it fondly and expressed his gratitude for their child together.

"We had Zoë, which is, I see now, what it was all about," he continued. "It was really all about bringing this beautiful child to the planet and also sharing the love that we had. Zoë's mom and I now are best friends. It's interesting because that's how the relationship started."

2014: Lenny Kravitz says he and Lisa Bonet broke up because he "wasn't ready"

Kravitz elaborated on the end of his relationship with Bonet while speaking to Flatt magazine. He told the outlet he wasn't in the right head space to be married.

"I had to take a break. I went through a lot of emotional things, a lot of deaths in my family," he said, per Glamour U.K. "But now, I would love to be married. It just has to be the right person, at the right time."

The "Again" vocalist echoed a similar sentiment in an interview with The Guardian in 2018. "I was in not just a depression, but a fog. I didn’t know which way was up," he said.

May 4, 2015: Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet attend the Met Gala with Zoë Kravitz

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz attend "China: Through the Looking Glass", the 2015 Costume Institute Gala, at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz attend "China: Through the Looking Glass", the 2015 Costume Institute Gala, at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.

In 2015, the Bonet-Kravitz family stepped out together for the Met Gala.

Kravitz shared a group photo of the trio on Facebook to mark the night, captioning it, "#MetGala2015. Family."

2019: Lenny Kravitz says he and Lisa Bonet have a new type of relationship

Kevin Mazur/Getty Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz attend Saint Laurent at the Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California for the Saint Laurent Los Angeles show.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz attend Saint Laurent at the Palladium on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California for the Saint Laurent Los Angeles show.

In a February 2019 interview with PEOPLE, Kravitz revealed his hope to find love again. The Grammy-winning artist was previously linked to Vanessa Paradis, Adriana Lima and Nicole Kidman.

He also reflected on his relationship with Bonet as a deep one, which eventually formed into a different kind of connection.

"We're like brother and sister. After Lisa and I separated, we learned to find a new relationship," Kravitz said. "Then I met Jason when they got together and I love him, he loves my kid and I love their kids and we're all one big family. It's beautiful."

November 16, 2022: Lenny Kravitz wishes Lisa Bonet a happy birthday

<p>Kevork Djansezian/Getty</p> Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz, and Lisa Bonet attend the Saint Laurent show on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz, and Lisa Bonet attend the Saint Laurent show on February 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

Ahead of the holiday season, Kravitz shared a black-and-white photo on Instagram of himself and Zoë each kissing Bonet on the cheek in honor of her birthday. He captioned the photo, "Happy birthday mama…."

The tribute came amid Bonet's split from Momoa, which the pair announced in January 2022. Despite their breakup, Momoa also showed some love for his ex's birthday, commenting a row of hearts on Kravitz's post.

2024: Lenny Kravitz says Lisa Bonet will always be a part of him

Ahead of the release of his latest album, Blue Electric Light, Kravitz spoke to PEOPLE and reflected on his career. The singer opened up about how Bonet impacted him then and how she continues to do so now through their friendship.

“The love doesn’t leave you, but it has to find a new way to funnel itself into a new life. We consciously wanted to do that," he said.

Kravitz continued, "It took time, believe me, but she is a part of my life that will never leave my heart, my soul or my spirit. I am what I am because of our experience.”

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