"I'm very fortunate that she was on television," the musician tells PEOPLE about finding comfort in watching old episodes of her sitcom
Not everyone had a parent who was the star of a hit sitcom, leaving a lasting legacy on-screen that anyone can watch again and again. Yet, that's the case for Lenny Kravitz, who is the son of The Jeffersons actress Roxie Roker and TV producer Sly Kravitz.
“She’s still everything to me. I probably feel her more since she’s left the planet,” Kravitz, 59, tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story about his mother, who died of breast cancer in 1995 at the age of 66.
“I’m very fortunate that she was on television because when I need to, I’ll turn on The Jeffersons and watch her, and it does so much for me,” he says of finding comfort in viewing old episodes of the hit CBS sitcom, on which she played Helen Willis for 11 seasons.
"I am so grateful that God chose her to be my mother," he tells himself now, having spent so many years without her. The longtime rocker adds that even now, he "still feel[s] her just as much — she's just not here physically," he says, explaining that "spiritually, I feel her deeply."
Kravitz, who says that Roker was "everything to me," notes that his mother "Was the most exceptional human being I've ever experienced. She was so nonjudgmental."
Roker first married Kravitz's father, Sly, in 1962 before giving birth to the now-legendary musician on May 26, 1964.
While Kravitz had a turbulent relationship with his father — something he detailed in his 2020 memoir Let Love Rule — his relationship with his mother never faltered. (His father is also gone, dying in 2005 at 80 years old.)
A self-proclaimed "mama's boy," Kravitz opened up about his close dynamic with his mother, writing in his memoir that "Mom was and is my heart." He added, "Roxie Roker was a gifted actress, mother and empath who understood how to combine all three roles."
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"She was a woman who never spoke badly about anybody, even if they deserved it," he shared in his memoir, recalling a telling moment that happened after she died.
"At her funeral, late actor Brock Peters said, 'If Roxie met the devil himself, she'd say to him, 'What a lovely red suit.' The whole place burst out laughing because that was my mother. She's going to find the positive thing that she can say or do in any situation," the musician shared.
He also echoed his latest comments to PEOPLE by saying that in the decades since her death, he thinks of Roker "every day." He added, "I know that I wouldn't be here if it weren't for her and all those who came before me."
For more on Lenny Kravitz's life and loves, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, available on newsstands everywhere now.
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