Piers Morgan: Of all the things that you’ve experienced in your extraordinary career and life, If I could give you 5 minutes to replay one of them again, what would it be?
Lenny Kravitz: A career moment, wow. You know, I’ve had so many where I had to pinch myself… Probably producing Michael Jackson. And there’s been a lot of great ones but that was something extraordinary
PM: What made it so extraordinary?
LK:Well, the fact that I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t seen the Jackson 5 when I was 6 years old. That was the 1st concert I’d ever been to, my father took me to Madison Square Garden to see them. And it changed everything. The universe was a different place the next day, I was completely blown away by the music, the talent, the whole experience. And here I am in the studio, I’ve written a song for Michael and he’s standing there telling me to be very hard on him: ‘I wanna do this exactly the way you see it, so stop me every time it’s not the way you want it’, and we’re just getting into it and working together and spending a week together in the studio and it was just unbelievable.
PM: What kind of man was he? For real
LK: First of all, just a beautiful being, extremely professional, a perfectionist. Still having the passion all those years later. You know, he would work all day and night, come back the next day, all day and night. He hadn’t lost that… A great father, he was amazing with his children, I spent time with the kids and we were all in the studio so they would come and we would all hang out together, he was a very good father. And he was funny! Very funny, he laughed all the time… And he could eat more than you think
PM: He was an incredible talent
LK:Yeah, the greatest ever, I would agree with that
PM: How did you feel when you heard what had happened to him?
LK: I was obviously devastated, I was blown away, I found out on stage in Scotland as I was coming off and getting ready to go back on and they told me, and I had to go back out. It’s extremely sad, I was really looking forward to seeing him come back and do those shows. Even though I knew… wow 50 shows, that’s very serious.
PM: Do you think of our lifetime Michael Jackson was the best?
LK: Of course, you can’t touch him. And people think about Michael Jackson in his solo career, which is obviously phenomenal, but the deepest genius I saw on him was when he was a child; he was a child that sang with the same talent soul and intensity of Aretha Franklin or James Brown or any great vocalist.
-Piers Morgan interview: Lenny Kravitz about Michael Jackson (2011)
Lionel Richie: “There is not a day that I don’t send a text to [Nicole] and I put down, ‘Proud of you’.”
Talking to interviewer Piers Morgan for his hit ITV show Life Stories, he reveals how he faced racism with his beloved father, how he came to adopt daughter Nicole and helped her battle her drug demons a decade later, and his heartbreak over his dad’s death.
The way Lionel ended up adopting daughter Nicole, now a reality TV star, is a story destined to live on in the annals of showbiz strangeness. It began in 1983 as way of helping her biological dad Peter Escovedo, who had been a member of his band.
“I went to a Prince concert and there on the stage in the middle of the concert was this four-year-old kid playing the tambourine,” he says. “So I went backstage and I knew the mother and I knew the father and, of course, they were having difficulties with their relationship.
“I said, ‘While you are having the difficulty the kid is sitting out here in limbo so I’ll tell you what I’ll do, just put the kid in my house until the tour is over with and then we will sort this out later’.
“And so it took about maybe a year for me to just fall in love and she was a little button, and of course by that time I was Dad and so I said, ‘OK here is what we are going to do, you’re going to make everyone wish that they had adopted you.
‘You are going to make everyone in your family wish they actually had a chance to get you back,’ and that’s when I said, ‘Let’s adopt her.’
“I remember just saying to her – because I don’t think she understood adoption – I think I just closed the door and said, ‘OK, I am never going to leave you ever again’.
“And I said, ‘Do you understand that?’ and she said ‘Yes’ which I am probably sure she didn’t. She didn’t know what that meant.”
And he stuck by his promise through the good times and the bad, such as Nicole’s battle with drugs. She was arrested for possession of heroin in 2003.
Lionel says: “I sound like my father now, but I went to her and I said, ‘When I was growing up I lost three friends, they were the hippest friends I ever knew in life.
‘One was the hippest guy at the clubs, he drank and he died in a car accident. The second friend died of drugs and the third one, suicide.’
“I said, ‘It’s going to happen to your generation. I don’t want you to be in that list of three because after that you’ll be just fine’.
“Three months later her friend died of an overdose and I went back to her and very quietly, I was very shocked, and I said, ‘I am sorry to hear that, that’s one’.
“And sure enough, one year later the second one died and I said, ‘That’s two’ and I got a phone call and she said, ‘Dad I need help, I don’t want to be the third one’.
“And I said, ‘I am with you’ and I cancelled the tour. I said, ‘Me and your mother’, who didn’t get along that well, ‘Me and your mother are checking into rehab with you.’”
Today Nicole, 33, has settled down with musician husband Joel Madden. They have two children: Harlow, seven, and five year-old Sparrow. Lionel says: “There is not a day that I don’t send a text to her and I put down, ‘Proud of you’.”
- Lionel Richie talks about Nicole Richie on Piers Morgan Life Stories. (Catch it Friday, September 4th on ITV at 9pm). [x]
literally both the katie couric interview and that piers morgan interview were both so disgusting like these weren’t opportunities where they said “hey as a privileged individual who has access to a major mainstream audience let me step aside so you can use this platform to speak your truth” it was more like “I don’t understand you and I have many preconceived notions about who you are and what you stand for but prove to me you deserve to be treated like a human being”
that’s not a fucking “ally” that’s being a violent oppressive shitbag
What's the one 1d moment that always makes you smile?
This is late but I can’t pick one!!!
I love moments where they’re all on the same page, all giggling together or being snarky together, or just in awe of everything in front of them or that’s going on, and actually some of the best moments I picked for Ziam are also great OT5 things (interviews wise) and make me smile.
So I’ve picked a few and I went through my likes on Youtube and literally could’ve plonked all of them on here (and i can do that) but here are the ones that always make me smile, and they aren’t really moments. (but for particular incidents I’ve copied the link at the precise point something happened).
The bug incident.
This interview in 2014 with the whole how tall are you thing, replay, a couple of precious Ziam moments and stroppy Niall with the selfie.
I want to also include all the 2012 interviews like the Freshly squeezed one + (where Zayn leaves them all ‘what??’ when he says about strumming (niall’s guitar that is though they clearly don’t think so) and this one + and this one + (all on the same day - the last one where they’re all giggly messes)
I could also pick the Current Affair interview, Mario Kart, Brits 2014, the perfume ads and literally as I said so many concert moment (twitter questions are so good for seeing them all interact, all the times on red carpets, all the backstage stuff we’ve seen, just any where they interact) but 1d day as I’ve wittered on about so many times is my fave.
Yes it was a mess in so many ways, and yes they were so exasperated but god, its so good for all the little interactions.
Wrong Direction. + If you ever doubt these 5 can’t keep a straight face then watch it. Its amazing and these 2 ‘stellar’ lookalikes sum it all up.
The Piers Morgan interview with all the pre-amble and ‘smelly’ Morgan.
All the little looks, all the withering glances (mainly from Louis), define girlfriends, my only one proper ‘girlfriend’, the most embarrassing moment, harry and the little girl, the gun hasn’t got an end on it and their reactions to that, ‘he’s doing his sexy eyes’, listen they can put them all on separate settees and try and put them in an uncomfortable position with planted questions and they’ll always be on the same page.
The Jerry Springer segment where I love how you can hear their voices, hear a couple of them even getting affronted a bit by the ‘scoring system’, the toddlers talk, the whole Paul carrying them to the band bit, Liam and Zayn doing the final bit and Louis drawing all over Liam’s face who just lets him. +
The food challenge
And supportive Liam of Zayn and vice versa, then when Niall gets his answer wrong, Louis and Harry both look after him, one with water, the other with the nice food and then they have a food fight and Liam gets struck in the balls.
Basically ALL of 1d day but if you want an object lesson in barely concealed disdain of Simon Cowell and all the nonsense and Niall saying ‘none of this TV crap’ re the creation of 1d and Louis’ expression when Cowell says he thought they’d all get through as solo artists then its gold, oh and not forgetting Cowell calling for Lauren when they present the babygrow’s and he calls her like she’s one of his dogs rather than his girlfriend or mother of his first child.
I just really really love 1d day. Not to mention SOML and Little Things where they sound great and of course the latter with all the ‘couply’ moments.
But in conclusion…when those 5 boys smile
or the 5 men laugh their hearts out + or when they’re together
I’ve watched both interviews with Janet Mock and the main thing I’m learning is that you are not a good listener. Let’s do a quick workshop.
You’re faulting her for not speaking up when your language in the initial interview was hurtful and inaccurate. Do you not understand what fear is? Justifiable fear, in fact. Janet Mock is a woman of color and women of color have historically had a pretty abusive relationship with White men (it’s only ironic that you’re also English). To be an out trans woman of color and to be present in a platform as “mainstream” as yours is a serious safety concern for people of any one of those identities let alone all three.
Janet Mock has been very brave in even bothering to address the fact that you spoke of her inaccurately and it’s important that you remember that you are in a position of privilege here– not just because you are the host of your own show, but because you’re a White man bulldozing over Mock’s words. She put herself out there by coming on your show and that very easily could have been a safety issue.
Mock most likely expected you to say something offensive (with or without intent) prior to her interview simply because people in queer communities (especially those of color who are discussing nonconforming gender) are constantly being referred to in ways that dehumanize them.
There are things you don’t know, and that’s nothing new. Plenty of people have no idea how language can erase a trans person’s humanity and identity. The main issue here is that you didn’t give Janet the space to speak. This may have in part been because of your defensive disposition from the start of the second interview and also due to the fact that you probably aren’t used to being told you’re wrong. So, let me jot down some things that need to be cleared up.
You cannot be “biologically a boy”.
Biological sex and gender identity are very different things. Sex is usually based on the appearance of a baby’s genitalia, but can also refer to hormone levels, first/secondary sex characteristics, chromosomes, and even the ability to bear children. Sex is a far more fluid concept than people typically think and many trans people will ID with a sex in the way that they ID with a gender. When referring to sex, typically words like “male”, “female”, and “intersex” are used.
Gender is a social construct and it is based on performance. We perceive gender based on presentation, looks, body language, and even hobbies. As a society, we follow those gender roles rather strictly, but gender is far more organic. Gender is fluid. When referring to gender identity, you will typically hear words like “man” and “woman”. If you go a little deeper than this binary you’ll hear “trans”, “genderqueer”, gender fluid", “nonbinary”, “agender”, and many many more.
So when you say Janet Mock was “born a boy” you’re conflating sex and gender. She was born, a doctor assigned her male based on her genitalia, and because we often think sex determines gender identity, she was initially socialized as a boy. We use acronyms like AMAB/ AFAB (there are more) to express these assigned sexes.
AMAB & AFAB
AMAB means “assigned male at birth”. AFAB means “assigned female at birth”. For a lot of people, this means being socialized as a boy if you are AMAB and a girl if you are AFAB. The issue with this is that as children get older they may not identify with the way they are being socialized and can often become depressed, dysphoric, even suicidal.
Janet Mock expressed that her family recognized her dissatisfaction with her assigned gender and allowed her to live her truth. That doesn’t happen too often for people like us. Many trans people, especially trans women of color, are forced to repress their identities, conform to their assigned ones, disowned by their families, kicked out of the house at young ages, beaten, abused, and murdered for being true to themselves.
That might also be one of the valid reasons Mock had to be afraid when coming on your show. People in positions of privilege often do not treat trans people with respect or very well, so it wouldn’t be surprising that she kept silent about some of your language because she didn’t want to get confrontational.
Trans people are not defined by their body parts.
Well, no one is nor should be. But my point here is that you focused on Mock’s relationship, how she disclosed her identity, how surprising it was that her partner didn’t care how she was assigned at birth, her gender affirmation surgery, and things that weren’t appropriate to discuss.
Her personal life is her personal life. She repeatedly said that her book talks about her journey through transition and that should have been enough for you. She wasn’t there to explain what she looked like naked; she was there to give visibility to trans women of color. She was there to reinforce trans humanity. She was there to encourage others to support their trans/ queer peers.
You did not allow her to express that.
Just because you say you are an ally, doesn’t make you an ally.
The second interview was rather terrible because you were more interested in asserting your ally status than listening to what Janet had to say. The community you have allied yourself to are the people who deem you “ally”- it isn’t a title you give yourself. It is earned. Your behavior did not earn you a place as an ally. Alliance is a journey and an on-going practice. Perhaps one day you will actually be one, but it’s important you do more listening.
Your intent does not matter. The effects of your poor manners have already done damage and will continue to do so because other “allies” will assume they are entitled to an education about trans people from trans people on a whim. You are perfectly capable of using the Internet to pull up reading material on the subject by trans people. I know you mentioned the Marie Claire article. It was a shit article. And if Janet Mock says it didn’t accurately represent her, then the smart thing to do would be to stop using it as a reference and listen to her.
The way you spoke to her was condescending and patronizing. You questioned her ability to assert her own gender identity with phrasing like “you believe you are a woman” and continually referenced an article she had no part in penning. If there was something in that article that was taken out of context then you had the opportunity to clear it up right there with Janet Mock in front of you. You instead decided to badger her with it instead of listening to her.
She is a writer. She is very particular about wording and is very aware of how she wants to be represented. Take her word over Marie Claire’s.
The ~Gay Community~ isn’t the ~Trans Community~
The reason Janet brought that up when you were professing your ally status is due to the constant grouping together of gender and sexual minorities.
The Gay Community is specifically concerned with sexual orientation.
The Trans community is specifically concerned with gender identity.
By bringing up the Gay Community (even if you bring up the words “Trans Community” in your list) you are framing these two very distinct issues as one and the same. There are gender nonconforming people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, queer, asexual, etc., but that wasn’t the subject of conversation. You appeared to connect these separate issues because you didn’t bring up any other marginalized groups (for example: Black Community, Disabled Community) as fodder for your ally resume.
Your Opinion on Your Choice of Words Doesn’t Matter
I know you think you did a good job of supporting and respecting Janet Mock. I know you felt your words were calculated and you didn’t use any slurs against her or overtly deny her identity. I bet you’re feeling pretty good about that. The thing is that you messed up anyway. You aren’t a trans person so you have no idea what you said meant not just to Janet, but to the trans community as a whole. Even your tweets were rather disgusting. “I’ll deal with you later”? Really? Is that how you talk to people? That’s such an entitled phrase and incredibly inappropriate.
She’s Black, transgender, and a woman. You’re White, cisgender, and a man. There are power dynamics there that you need to be aware of.
You were not a victim of abuse here. What you got on twitter was a response to your poor behavior on air with Janet and online.
This is food for thought. It’s important you do more to educate yourself on who trans people are and how you can support us in ways where you really could be an ally.
It’s amazing how Piers Morgan made this interview all about himself and how he has been “abused.” He had the opportunity to learn how his words were harmful, learn how to respect the transgender community, and sincerely apologize for his actions yet instead he played the role of the victim. Piers Morgan, you were not abused and you are not the victim, you are simply another oppressor.
Gentle reminder that Chris said on his Piers Morgan interview that he very rarely cries, in fact he hadn’t cried in years at the time of that interview, since his grandfather passed away. Just to give us perspective of just how emotional he was there.