Lenny Kravitz Honors Late Mother Roxie Roker in New Memoir Let Love Rule: 'I Was a Mama's Boy'

"She was a woman who never spoke badly about anybody, even if they deserved it," Lenny Kravitz tells PEOPLE of his mother in this week's issue

lenny kravitz and mom
Lenny Kravitz and mom Roxie Roker. Photo: Vinnie Zuffante/getty

Lenny Kravitz is paying tribute to his late mother Roxie Roker.

The rocker, 56, fondly describes the close relationship he had with the Jeffersons actress, who died of breast cancer in 1995, in his upcoming new memoir Let Love Rule, titled after his 1989 debut album of the same name and set for release on Oct. 6.

″I was a mama’s boy,″ Kravitz tells PEOPLE. ″She was a woman who never spoke badly about anybody, even if they deserved it. 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.″

Though a quarter-century has passed since Roker's death, Kravitz says she's still with him ″every day.″

″I have her pictures around, and there's always a big portrait of her in my homes, wherever I am,″ he says. ″I know that I wouldn't be here if it weren't for her and all those who came before me. I celebrate my ancestors: I always think of them and always refer to them and have their images around because I know that those are the shoulders that I stand on, and I respect that very deeply."

RELATED: Lenny Kravitz Memoir Let Love Rule Set for Fall 2020 Release

While growing up in New York and later Los Angeles, Kravitz says his mother (who divorced his father, high-powered news executive Sy Kravitz, in 1985) was ″very smart″ about raising him as a biracial child. ″She really taught me the facts and made sure that I knew my heritage," he says.

After welcoming his own daughter, Zoë, with now ex-wife Lisa Bonet in 1988, Kravitz says he was able to develop with her the same close relationship that his mother had with her father.

″My mother and my grandfather had a very close relationship — to the point where, as a teenager, I thought it was ridiculous,″ he says. ″I would just say, like, 'You guys are on top of each other all the time.' They loved each other, and they valued each other. So when I see the relationship between Zoë and myself, I see the relationship between my mother and my grandfather. It makes me very happy that we've elevated to that level."

Lenny Kravitz, Zoe Kravitz
Lenny and Zoë Kravitz at the Saint Laurent fashion show in Feb. 2020. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

As Zoë's gained success as an actress in her own right, Kravitz says he knows his mom would be ″very proud.″

″She's her own person with her own identity, and it's a wonderful thing to see,″ he says. ″I know that my mother is very proud of her — not just her accomplishments, but her behavior, her attitudes, the way she has done what she's done and the kind of human being that she is.″

In addition to covering his relationship with his mother in Let Love Rule, Kravitz also details the first 25 years of his life pre-fame. According to its press release, the book is ″the story of a wildly creative kid who, despite tough struggles at school and extreme tension at home, finds salvation in music. In one lightning-fast chapter after another, we see him grow as a musician and ultimately a master songwriter, producer and performer. We also see Lenny’s spiritual growth — and the powerful way in which spirit informs his music."

Let Love Rule is set for release on Oct. 6.

For more details on Lenny Kravitz's life and family, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

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