Lenny Kravitz and Jason Aldean: Friendship Inspires CMT Music Awards Performance

"American Woman" Gets a Healthy Workout in Nashville

He may have looked every inch the rock star on Wednesday night (June 5) at the 2013 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, but Lenny Kravitz swears that country music runs as deep as rock and psychedelia in his artistic veins.

Decked out in a sleeveless gold lamé shirt, shades and skintight gray leather pants, Kravitz hooked up with show co-host Jason Aldean for a classic rock workout on the Guess Who’s “American Woman” that mostly traded twang for cranked-up, fuzzed-out guitar.

But speaking backstage before he strutted out to open the show, Kravitz said country music is a building block of his 25-year career.

“I’ve always got that little butterfly for two seconds,” Kravitz said about his momentary anxiety before his performance debut at this year’s CMT Music Awards. “But this is what I do, and it feels natural. It’s a whole new crowd.

“You know, I’ve always had influences of country in my music, back to [1995's] ‘Can’t Get You Off My Mind’ and songs like that. Country and rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues all work together so well.”

Kravitz said he and Aldean met through some mutual friends. They ended up hanging out together, and the rest, as they say, is history. Both men worked their Gibson Les Paul guitars to the max during the show and the mix of Aldean’s grittier vocals and Kravitz’s signature soulful wail proved to be a killer combo.

“Great vibe in the hall,” he said as the clock ticked down. “I’m having a great time. What can I tell you?”

Clearly not much, since both he and Aldean let their fingers — and voices — do the talking once they took the stage.