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Patricia Lee Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and poet who became an influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.

Called the "punk poet laureate", Smith fused rock and poetry in her work. Her most widely known song is "Because the Night", which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978 and number five in the U.K. In 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.Remise des insignes de Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres à Patti Smith 'Solidays' (French). French Ministry of Culture (July 10, 2005). Retrieved on April 18, 2009. In 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.Patti Smith profile. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2007). Retrieved on April 18, 2009.

On November 17, 2010, Smith won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. The book fulfilled a promise she had made to her former long-time roommate and partner, Robert Mapplethorpe. She placed 47th in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Artists published in December 2010 and was also a recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.

Life and career[]

1946–1967: Early life[]

Patricia Lee Smith was born in 30 December 1946 at Grant Hospital of Chicago in Chicago to Beverly Smith, a jazz singer turned waitress, and Grant Smith, who worked as a machinist at a Honeywell plant. The family was of part Irish ancestry and Patti was the eldest of four children, with siblings Linda, Kimberly, and Todd. At the age of 4, Smith's family moved from Chicago to Germantown, Philadelphia, before heading to Pitman, New Jersey and later to The Woodbury Gardens section of Deptford Township, New Jersey.

At this early age Smith was exposed to her first records, including Shrimp Boats by Harry Belafonte, Patience and Prudence's The Money Tree, and Another Side of Bob Dylan, which her mother gave to her. Smith graduated from Deptford Township High School in 1964 and went to work in a factory. She gave birth to her first child, a daughter, on April 26, 1967, and chose to place her for adoption.

1967–1973: New York[]

In 1967, she left Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) and moved to New York City's Manhattan. She met photographer Robert Mapplethorpe there while working at a bookstore with friend and poet Janet Hamill. She and Mapplethorpe had an intense romantic relationship, which was tumultuous as the pair struggled with times of poverty, and Mapplethorpe with his own sexuality. Smith considers Mapplethorpe to be one of the most important people in her life, and in her book Just Kids refers to him as "the artist of my life." Mapplethorpe's photographs of her became the covers for the Patti Smith Group albums, and they remained lifelong friends until Mapplethorpe's death in 1989. Her book and album The Coral Sea would be an homage to the life of Mapplethorpe and Just Kids would tell the story of their relationship. She would also write essays for several of Mapplethorpe's books, starting from one, at his request, for his posthumous Flowers.

She went to Paris with her sister in 1969, and started busking and doing performance art. When Smith returned to Manhattan, she lived in the Hotel Chelsea with Mapplethorpe; they frequented Max's Kansas City and CBGB. Smith provided the spoken word soundtrack for Sandy Daley's art film Robert Having His Nipple Pierced, starring Mapplethorpe. The same year Smith appeared with Wayne County in Jackie Curtis's play Femme Fatale. Afterward, she also starred in Tony Ingrassia's play Island. As a member of the St. Mark's Poetry Project, she spent the early 1970s painting, writing, and performing. In 1971 she performed – for one night only – in Cowboy Mouth,Patti Smith: Biography. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (2001). Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved on February 4, 2008. a play that she co-wrote with Sam Shepard. (The published play's notes call for "a man who looks like a coyote and a woman who looks like a crow".) She wrote several poems, "for sam shepard""for sam shepard," in Creem Sept. 1971 link and "Sam Shepard: 9 Random Years (7 + 2)"included in Angel City, Curse of the Starving Class & Other Plays (1976), (bibliographic information) about her relationship with Shepard.

Smith was briefly considered for the lead singer position in Blue Öyster Cult. She contributed lyrics to several of the band's songs, including "Debbie Denise" (inspired by her poem "In Remembrance of Debbie Denise"), "Baby Ice Dog", "Career of Evil", "Fire of Unknown Origin", "The Revenge of Vera Gemini" (on which she performs duet vocals), and "Shooting Shark". She was romantically involved at the time with the band's keyboardist, Allen Lanier. During these years, Smith also wrote rock journalism pieces, some of which were published in Rolling Stone and Creem.Khanna, Vish (May 2007). Patti Smith Fights the Good Fight – Timeline. Exclaim!. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved on December 5, 2008.

1974–1979: Patti Smith Group[]

Smith performing at Cornell University, 1978

By 1974, Patti Smith was performing rock music, initially with guitarist, bassist and rock archivist Lenny Kaye, and later with a full band comprising Kaye, Ivan Kral on guitar and bass, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums and Richard Sohl on piano. Kral was a refugee from Czechoslovakia who had moved to the United States in 1966 with his parents, who were diplomats. After the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, he decided not to return.Bezr, Ondřej (June 25, 2010). "Český rocker Ivan Král vstoupil s Patti Smith do Kongresové knihovny" (in Czech). Mladá fronta DNES. http://kultura.idnes.cz/cesky-rocker-ivan-kral-vstoupil-s-patti-smith-do-kongresove-knihovny-1kc-/hudba.aspx?c=A100625_142908_hudba_ob. Retrieved August 20, 2014. Financed by Sam Wagstaff, the band recorded a first single, "Hey Joe / Piss Factory", in 1974. The A-side was a version of the rock standard with the addition of a spoken word piece about fugitive heiress Patty Hearst ("Patty Hearst, you're standing there in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army flag with your legs spread, I was wondering were you gettin' it every night from a black revolutionary man and his women ...").Hey Joe lyrics. Retrieved on February 4, 2008. A court later heard that Hearst had been confined against her will, and had been repeatedly threatened with execution and raped.Krassner, Paul (July 7, 1999). Symbionese Liberation Army. Retrieved on June 24, 2012. The B-side describes the helpless anger Smith had felt while working on a factory assembly line and the salvation she discovered in the form of a shoplifted book, the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations. In a 1996 interview which discusses artistic influences during her younger years, Smith said, "I had devoted so much of my girlish daydreams to Rimbaud. Rimbaud was like my boyfriend."Moore, Thurston, "Patti Smith", BOMB Magazine Winter, 1996. Retrieved July 18, 2012.

Smith performing with the Patti Smith Group, in West Germany, 1978

Later that same year, she performed spoken poetry on "I Wake Up Screaming" from Ray Manzarek's The Whole Thing Started with Rock & Roll Now It's Out of Control album.

The Patti Smith Group was signed by Clive Davis of Arista Records, and in 1975 recorded their first album, Horses, produced by John Cale amid some tension. The album fused punk rock and spoken poetry and begins with a cover of Van Morrison's "Gloria", and Smith's opening words: "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine" (an excerpt from "Oath", one of her early poems). The austere cover photograph by Mapplethorpe has become one of rock's classic images.Template:Cite magazine As the popularity of punk rock grew, Patti Smith Group toured the United States and Europe. The rawer sound of the group's second album, Radio Ethiopia, reflected this. Considerably less accessible than Horses, Radio Ethiopia initially received poor reviews. However, several of its songs have stood the test of time, and Smith still performs them regularly in concert.Patti Smith setlists, 2007. Retrieved on February 7, 2008. She has said that Radio Ethiopia was influenced by the band MC5.

On January 23, 1977, while touring in support of Radio Ethiopia, Smith accidentally danced off a high stage in Tampa, Florida, and fell 15 feet into a concrete orchestra pit, breaking several neck vertebrae.Patti Smith chronology. Retrieved on February 4, 2008.

The injury required a period of rest and an intensive round of physical therapy, during which time she was able to reassess, re-energize and reorganize her life. Patti Smith Group produced two further albums before the end of the 1970s. Easter (1978) was her most commercially successful record, containing the single "Because the Night" co-written with Bruce Springsteen. Wave (1979) was less successful, although the songs "Frederick" and "Dancing Barefoot" both received commercial airplay.Smith, Patti (2002). Song of the Week: Dancing Barefoot. Archived from the original on January 12, 2008. Retrieved on February 26, 2008.

1980–1995: Marriage[]

Smith with her daughter Jesse Smith at the 2011 Time 100 gala

Before the release of Wave, Smith, now separated from long-time partner Allen Lanier, met Fred "Sonic" Smith, former guitar player for Detroit rock band MC5 and his own Sonic's Rendezvous Band, who adored poetry as much as she did. Wave '​s "Dancing Barefoot" (inspired by Jeanne Hébuterne and her tragic love for Amedeo Modigliani) and "Frederick" were both dedicated to him.Deming, Mark. Dancing Barefoot. Retrieved on February 7, 2008. The running joke at the time was that she married Fred only because she would not have to change her name.Babel-list (1999). Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved on February 7, 2008. They had a son, Jackson (b. 1982) who would go on to marry The White Stripes drummer, Meg White in 2009;"Meg White and Jackson Smith wed in Nashville". The Seattle Times. May 26, 2009. http://seattletimes.com/html/entertainment/2009264040_apusmusicmegwhite.html. Retrieved October 19, 2012. and a daughter, Jesse Paris, who is also a musician and composerJesse Paris Smith. Retrieved on September 5, 2020. (b. 1987).

Through most of the 1980s Smith was in semi-retirement from music, living with her family north of Detroit in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. In June 1988, she released the album Dream of Life, which included the song "People Have the Power". Fred Smith died on November 4, 1994, of a heart attack. Shortly afterward, Patti faced the unexpected death of her brother Todd.

When her son Jackson turned 14, Smith decided to move back to New York. After the impact of these deaths, her friends Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Allen Ginsberg (whom she had known since her early years in New York) urged her to go back out on the road. She toured briefly with Bob Dylan in December 1995 (chronicled in a book of photographs by Stipe).

1996–2003: Re-emergence[]

In 1996, Smith worked with her long-time colleagues to record Gone Again, featuring "About a Boy", a tribute to Kurt Cobain. That same year she collaborated with Stipe on "E-Bow the Letter", a song on R.E.M.'s New Adventures in Hi-Fi, which she has also performed live with the band.Stephen Thomas Erlewine. New Adventures in Hi-Fi. Retrieved on February 7, 2008. After the release of Gone Again, Patti Smith recorded two new albums: Peace and Noise in 1997 (with the single "1959", about the invasion of Tibet) and Gung Ho in 2000 (with songs about Ho Chi Minh and Smith's late father). Songs "1959" and "Glitter in Their Eyes" were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.Grammy Awards: Best Rock Vocal Performance – Female. Retrieved on March 6, 2008. A box set of her work up to that time, The Patti Smith Masters, came out in 1996, and 2002 saw the release of Land (1975–2002), a two-CD compilation that includes a cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry". Smith's solo art exhibition Strange Messenger was hosted at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh on September 28, 2002.The Andy Warhol Museum Announces Patti Smith Performance and Retrospective Exhibition (PDF). The Andy Warhol Museum (May 3, 2002). Archived from the original on December 31, 2006. Retrieved on March 19, 2008.

2004–2009[]

On April 27, 2004, Patti Smith released Trampin' which included several songs about motherhood, partly in tribute to Smith's mother, who had died two years before. It was her first album on Columbia Records, soon to become a sister label to her previous home Arista Records. Smith curated the Meltdown festival in London on June 25, 2005, the penultimate event being the first live performance of Horses in its entirety.Vulliamy, Ed (June 3, 2005). "Some give a song. Some give a life ...". The Guardian (London, UK). http://arts.guardian.co.uk/fridayreview/story/0,,1497477,00.html. Retrieved February 8, 2008. Guitarist Tom Verlaine took Oliver Ray's place. This live performance was released later in the year as Horses/Horses.

Smith performing at Primavera Sound Festival (2007)

On July 10, 2005, Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. In addition to Smith's influence on rock music, the Minister also noted her appreciation of Arthur Rimbaud. In August 2005, Smith gave a literary lecture about the poems of Arthur Rimbaud and William Blake. On October 15, 2006, Patti Smith performed at the CBGB nightclub, with a 3½-hour tour de force to close out Manhattan's music venue. She took the stage at 9:30 p.m. (EDT) and closed for the night (and forever for the venue) at a few minutes after 1:00 am, performing her song "Elegie", and finally reading a list of punk rock musicians and advocates who had died in the previous years.Pareles, Jon (October 16, 2006). "Fans of a Groundbreaking Club Mourn and Then Move On". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/16/arts/music/16cnd-cbgbnotebook.html?ei=5088&en=b87ef3abc56fb771&ex=1318651200&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=all. Retrieved February 4, 2008.

Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007. She dedicated her award to the memory of her late husband, Fred, and gave a performance of The Rolling Stones staple "Gimme Shelter". As the closing number of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Smith's "People Have the Power" was used for the big celebrity jam that always ends the program.Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2007 Induction. Spinner (2007). Archived from the original on November 1, 2007. Retrieved on February 4, 2008.

From November 2006 to January 2007, an exhibition called 'Sur les Traces'Sur les Traces. Trolley Gallery Books. Trolley Gallery. Retrieved on July 20, 2010. at Trolley Gallery, London, featured polaroid prints taken by Patti Smith and donated to Trolley to raise awareness and funds for the publication of Double Blind, a book on the war in Lebanon in 2006, with photographs by Paolo Pellegrin, a member of Magnum Photos. She also participated in the DVD commentary for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters. From March 28 to June 22, 2008, the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain in Paris hosted a major exhibition of the visual artwork of Patti Smith, Land 250, drawn from pieces created between 1967 and 2007.Patti Smith, Land 250. Fondation Cartier (2008). Retrieved on February 13, 2008. At the 2008 Rowan Commencement ceremony, Smith received an honorary doctorate degree for her contributions to popular culture.

Smith with National Book Critics Circle President Jane Ciabattari and NBCC board member John Reed. Smith's memoir Just Kids was an NBCC autobiography finalist at the 2010 awards.NBCC Awards Night: President's Welcome Template:Webarchive, Jane Ciabattari, Critical Mass, March 12, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.

Smith is the subject of a 2008 documentary film by Steven Sebring titled Patti Smith: Dream of Life.Patti Smith: Dream of Life, Variety, January 29, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2008. A live album by Patti Smith and Kevin Shields, The Coral Sea was released in July 2008. On September 10, 2009, after a week of smaller events and exhibitions in the city, Smith played an open-air concert in Florence's Piazza Santa Croce, commemorating her performance in the same city 30 years earlier.Patti Smith and Florence, a never-ending story, Agenzia per il Turismo, Firenze, July 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2009. Template:Webarchive In the meantime, she contributed with a special introduction to Jessica Lange's book 50 Photographs (2009).Pompeo, Joe (August 21, 2008). "Jessica Lange and Patti Smith Team Up". The Observer. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20110220202707/http://www.observer.com/2008/arts-culture/jessica-lange-and-patti-smith-team-photo-book. Retrieved May 11, 2011.

2010–present[]

Smith's book, Just Kids, a memoir of her time in 1970s Manhattan and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, was published in 2010; it later won the National Book Award for Nonfiction."National Book Awards – 2010". National Book Foundation. Retrieved February 26, 2012. (With acceptance speech, interview, and reading.)Carson, Tom (January 29, 2010). "The Night Belongs to Us". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/books/review/Carson-t.html. Retrieved February 10, 2010. In 2018 a new edition with many added photographs and illustrations was published. She also headlined a benefit concert headed by bandmate Tony Shanahan, for The Court Tavern of New Brunswick.Jordan, Chris (April 30, 2010). "Patti Smith, Bands Unite to Save the Court Tavern in New Brunswick". Courier News. Archived from the original on June 14, 2010. https://web.archive.org/web/20100614092109/http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100430/ENTERTAINMENT01/100426055/-1/newsfront/Patti-Smith-Co.-unite-to-save-the-Court. Retrieved October 6, 2010. Smith's set included "Gloria", "Because the Night" and "People Have the Power." She has a brief cameo in Jean-Luc Godard's 2010 Film Socialisme, which was first screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.Costa Concordia was the set for a movie directed by Jean-Luc Godard. To Be A Travel Agent.

In 2012 Patti Smith received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Pratt Institute, along with architect Daniel Libeskind, MoMA director Glenn Lowry, former NYC Landmarks Commissioner Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, novelist Jonathan Lethem, and director Steven Soderbergh.Pratt Institute's 2010 Commencement Ceremony at Radio City Music Hall (April 28, 2010). Retrieved on July 15, 2011. Following the conferral of her degree, Smith delivered the commencement addressVideo of Smith's speech. Retrieved on July 15, 2011. and sang/played two songs accompanied by long-time band member Lenny Kaye. In her remarks, Smith explained that in 1967 when she moved to New York City (Brooklyn), she would never have been accepted into Pratt, but most of her friends (including Mapplethorpe) were students at Pratt and she spent countless hours on the Pratt campus. She added that it was through her friends and their Pratt professors that she learned much of her own artistic skills, making the honor from the institute particularly poignant for Smith 43 years later.Murg, Stephanie (May 20, 2010). Patti Smith doesn't disappoint at Pratt's commencement. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.

Patti Smith was one of the winners of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.Patti Smith. Polar Music Prize. Retrieved on September 6, 2017. She made her television acting debut at the age of 64 on the TV series Law & Order: Criminal Intent, appearing in an episode called "Icarus".Stanhope, Kate (June 16, 2011). Exclusive First Look: Punk Rocker Patti Smith Makes Her Acting Debut on Law & Order: CI. TV Guide. Retrieved on June 21, 2011. In 2011 Smith was working on a crime novel set in London. "I've been working on a detective story that starts at the St Giles in the Fields church in London for the last two years", she told NME adding that she "loved detective stories" having been a fan of British fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and U.S. crime author Mickey Spillane as a girl.Patti Smith writing detective novel. NME. Retrieved on February 21, 2011. Part of the book will be set in Gothenburg, Sweden./ TT Spektra (February 17, 2011). Patti Smith skriver deckare – Kultur & Nöje (Swedish). Göteborgs-Posten. Retrieved on February 21, 2011.

Following the death of her husband in 1994, Smith began devoting time to what she terms "pure photography" (a method of capturing still objects without using a flash).Patti Smith: The extended BBC interview. BBC (January 19, 2012). Retrieved on August 8, 2013. In 2011, Smith announced the first museum exhibition of her photography in the United States, Camera Solo. She named the project after a sign she saw in the abode of Pope Celestine V, which translates as "a room of one's own", and which Smith felt best described her solitary method of photography. The exhibition featured artifacts which were the everyday items or places of significance of artists whom Smith admires, including Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Keats and Blake. In February 2012, she was a guest at the Sanremo Music Festival.Sanremo 2012: Marlene Kuntz e Patti Smith vincono il premio per il duetto (Italian). Rockol.it (February 17, 2012). Retrieved on February 2, 2018.

Smith recorded a cover of Buddy Holly's classic "Words of Love" for the CD Rave on Buddy Holly, a tribute album tied to Holly's seventy-fifth birthday year which was released June 28, 2011.Burger, David (April 28, 2011). "Paul McCartney, Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket and more cover Buddy Holly on Holly's 75th b-day year". The Salt Lake Tribune. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsburger/51713618-53/holly-buddy-rave-apple.html.csp. Retrieved May 10, 2011. She also recorded the song "Capitol Letter" for the official soundtrack of the second film of the Hunger Games-series The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' Soundtrack Features Coldplay, Patti Smith, The National, The Weeknd & More. Retrieved on April 23, 2014.

Smith's 11th studio album, Banga, was released in June 2012. Music Journalist Hal Horowitz wrote : "These songs aren't as loud or frantic as those of her late 70s heyday, but they resonate just as boldly as she moans, chants, speaks and spits out lyrics with the grace and determination of Mohammad Ali in his prime. It's not an easy listen—the vast majority of her music never has been—but if you're a fan and/or prepared for the challenge, this is as potent, heady and uncompromising as she has ever gotten, and with Smith's storied history as a musical maverick, that's saying plenty."Template:Cite magazine The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a score of 81, indicating "universal acclaim".Banga by Patti Smith. Retrieved on September 6, 2017.

Also in 2012 Patti Smith recorded the cover of Io come persona by the Italian singer-songwriter Giorgio Gaber, translated into English "I as a person", contained in the anthological album ...io ci sono.Per Gaber ...Io ci sono: la tracklist ufficiale.Ecco i 50 artisti che hanno detto Per Gaber "...io ci sono".

Patti Smith performing at Haldern Pop 2014

In 2015, Adult Swim offered Smith the opportunity to perform a song to commemorate the series finale of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Smith, an avowed fan of the series, recorded the song "Aqua Teen Dream" with the help of her children and band. The vocal track was recorded in a hotel overlooking Lerici's Bay of Poets.Patti Smith Talks 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force' Finale Song: "A Dream Come True". Pitchfork. Retrieved on August 24, 2015. On September 26, 2015, Smith performed during the American Museum of Tort Law convocation ceremony.Mirabelli, Manon L. (September 26, 2015). "Ralph Nader's American Museum of Tort Law opens in Winsted". New Haven Register. http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150926/ralph-naders-american-museum-of-tort-law-opens-in-winsted. Retrieved October 19, 2015.

In 2016 Smith performed "People Have the Power" at Riverside Church, Manhattan, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now. She was joined by Michael Stipe. On December 10, 2016, Smith attended the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm on behalf of Bob Dylan, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, who himself could not be present due to prior commitments. After the official presentation speech for the literary prize by Horace Engdahl, a member of the Swedish Academy, Smith sang the Dylan song "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall". Possibly overcome by nerves she sang "I saw the babe that was just bleedin’", the wrong words to the second verse and became unable to continue.Template:Cite magazine She stopped, and after a brief apology, resumed the song, which earned her a jubilant applause at the end.Template:Cite magazineTemplate:Cite magazine

In 2017, Smith appeared as herself in Song to Song directed by Terrence Malick, opposite Rooney Mara and Ryan Gosling.Rooney Mara Reveals Patti Smith Shot Scenes For Terrence Malick's Austin Music Scene Movie aka 'Weightless' (October 28, 2015). Retrieved on October 31, 2015.Phillips, Amy (March 7, 2017). Lykke, Patti, Iggy, and More: Every Musician in Terrence Malick's Song to Song. Retrieved on March 8, 2017. She later made an appearance at the Detroit show of U2's The Joshua Tree 2017 tour and performed "Mothers of the Disappeared" with the band."The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, Ford Field, Detroit". http://www.u2.com/tour/date/id/45561458.

In 2018, Smith's concert-documentary film Horses: Patti Smith and her Band premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival to wide acclaim.At 71 Years Old, Patti Smith Is Still a Rock Star—And Thank God for That (en). In addition, Smith narrated in Darren Aronofsky's VR experience Spheres: Songs of Spacetime alongside Millie Bobby Brown and Jessica Chastain.Chmielewski, Dawn C. (2018-04-18). Patti Smith Narrates Darren Aronofsky’s VR Experience ‘Spheres: Pale Blue Dot’ (en).

In 2019, Smith performed her anthem "People Have the Power" with Stewart Copeland and Choir! Choir! Choir! at Onassis Festival 2019: Democracy Is Coming, co-presented by The Public Theatre and Onassis USA. Later that year she released her latest book, Year of the Monkey.Sturges, Fiona (2019-09-18). "Year of the Monkey by Patti Smith review – memories of the magic and the mundane" (in en-GB). The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/sep/18/year-of-the-monkey-by-patti-smith-review. "A captivating, redemptive chronicle of a year in which Smith looked intently into the abyss." stated Kirkus Reviews. (in en) YEAR OF THE MONKEY | Kirkus Reviews. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/patti-smith/year-of-the-monkey/.

Smith is set to receive the International Humanities Prize from Washington University in St. Louis in November 2020.Patti Smith to receive Washington University International Humanities Prize | The Source | Washington University in St. Louis (en-US) (2020-01-27).

Legacy[]

Performing at TIM Festival, Rio de Janeiro (2006)

Smith has been a great source of inspiration for Michael Stipe of R.E.M. Listening to her album Horses made a huge impact on him; he said later, "I decided then that I was going to start a band."Template:Cite magazine

In 1998, Stipe published a collection of photos called Two Times Intro: On the Road with Patti Smith. Stipe sings backing vocals on Smith's songs "Last Call" and "Glitter in Their Eyes." Smith sang background vocals on R.E.M.'s songs "E-Bow the Letter" and "Blue".LeMay, Matt (March 9, 2011). R.E.M. Collapse into Now [Album Review].

The Australian alternative rock band, The Go-Betweens dedicated a track ("When She Sang About Angels") off their 2000 album, The Friends of Rachel Worth, to Smith's long-time influence.Horowitz, Hal. The Friends of Rachel Worth – The Go-Betweens. Retrieved on April 9, 2012.

In 2004, Shirley Manson of Garbage spoke of Smith's influence on her in Rolling Stone '​s issue "The Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time", in which Patti Smith was counted number 47.Template:Cite magazine The Smiths members Morrissey and Johnny Marr share an appreciation for Smith's Horses, and revealed that their song "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" is a reworking of one of the album's tracks, "Kimberly".Goddard, Simon (May 1, 2006). The Smiths: Songs That Saved Your Life (3rd ed.). Reynolds & Hearn. ISBN 1-905287-14-3. https://books.google.com/?id=TpXLnQEACAAJ&dq=1905287143. Retrieved April 8, 2014. In 2004, Sonic Youth released an album called Hidros 3 (to Patti Smith).Hidros 3 (To Patti Smith). Retrieved on February 4, 2008. U2 also cites Patti Smith as an influence.Template:Cite magazine In 2005 Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall released the single "Suddenly I See" as a tribute of sorts to Patti Smith.Lamb, Bill, KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See, Top40.About.Com. Retrieved October 26, 2007 Archived copy. Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved on March 25, 2009. Canadian actress Ellen Page frequently mentions Smith as one of her idols and has done various photo shoots replicating famous Smith photos, as well as Irish actress Maria Doyle Kennedy who often refers to Smith as a major influence.O'Brien, Glen; Fabian Baron, Drew Barrymore (Interviewer) (March 2008). "Ellen Page". Interview (Peter Brant) (March 2008). In 1978 and 1979, Gilda Radner portrayed a character called Candy Slice on Saturday Night Live based on Smith.

Alternative rock singer-songwriter Courtney Love of Hole heavily credited Smith as being a huge influence on her; Love received Smith's album Horses in juvenile hall as a teenager, and "realized that you could do something that was completely subversive that didn't involve violence [or] felonies. I stopped making trouble," said Love. "I stopped."Template:Cite episode Hole's classic track "Violet" features the lyrics "And the sky was all violet / I want it again, but violent, more violent", alluding to lyrics from Smith's "Kimberly".The lyrics to Hole's 1994 track "Violet" include the line: "And the sky was all violet / I want it again but violent, more violent". Smith's song "Kimberly" also includes the phrase "violent, violet sky". Love later stated that she considered "Rock n Roll Nigger" the greatest rock song of all time.Love, Courtney. "Fashion Faux Paus". Running Russell Simmons. November 20, 2010. Oxygen Network.

American pop singer Madonna has also named Smith as one of her biggest influences.Patti Smith's Gloria inspired Madonna. Yahoo! News (April 17, 2012). Retrieved on June 10, 2012.

Anglo-Celtic rock band The Waterboys' debut single, "A Girl Called Johnny", was written as a tribute to Smith.Template:Cite encyclopedia

In 2018, the English band Florence and the Machine dedicated the High as Hope album song "Patricia" to Smith. The lyrics reference Patricia as Florence Welch's "North Star"."Florence & The Machine, High As Hope album review: Calm after chaos". The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/florence-and-the-machine-new-album-review-high-as-hope-2018-song-list-a8422746.html.

Canadian country musician Orville Peck cited Smith as having had a big impact on him, stating that Smith's album Horses introduced him to a new and different way to make music.Orville Peck On The Music That Made Him, 'Pony' & The "Visual" Way He Creates. National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (2 January 2020). Retrieved on January 14, 2020.

Activism[]

Patti Smith on the Defence of the Earth - Paradiso, 2018)

In 1993, Smith contributed "Memorial Tribute (Live)" to the AIDS-Benefit Album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization.

Smith was a supporter of the Green Party and backed Ralph Nader in the 2000 United States presidential election.Arthur, Deyva (2005). Patti Smith reaffirms that people have the power. Volume 9 / Issue 2. Green Pages. Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. Retrieved on February 8, 2008. She led the crowd singing "Over the Rainbow" and "People Have the Power" at the campaign's rallies, and also performed at several of Nader's subsequent "Democracy Rising" events.History of Democracy Rising. George Washington University. Retrieved on November 13, 2012. Smith was a speaker and singer at the first protests against the Iraq War as U.S. President George W. Bush spoke to the United Nations General Assembly. Smith supported Democratic candidate John Kerry in the 2004 election. Bruce Springsteen continued performing her "People Have the Power" at Vote for Change campaign events. In the winter of 2004–2005, Smith toured again with Nader in a series of rallies against the Iraq War and called for the impeachment of Bush.

Smith premiered two new protest songs in London in September 2006.Jury, Louise (September 9, 2006). "Patti Smith Rails Against Israel and US". The Independent (London: Independent Print Limited). https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/patti-smith-rails-against-israel-and-us-415231.html. Retrieved February 8, 2008. Louise Jury, writing in The Independent, characterized them as "an emotional indictment of American and Israeli foreign policy". The song "Qana""Qana" mp3 at PattiSmith.net was about the Israeli airstrike on the Lebanese village of Qana. "Without Chains""Without Chains" mp3 at PattiSmith.net is about Murat Kurnaz, a Turkish citizen who was born and raised in Germany, held at Guantanamo Bay detainment camp for four years. Jury's article quotes Smith as saying:

I wrote both these songs directly in response to events that I felt outraged about. These are injustices against children and the young men and women who are being incarcerated. I'm an American, I pay taxes in my name and they are giving millions and millions of dollars to a country such as Israel and cluster bombs and defense technology and those bombs were dropped on common citizens in Qana. It's terrible. It's a human rights violation.

―Patti Smith

In an interview, Smith stated that Kurnaz's family has contacted her and that she wrote a short preface for the book that he was writing.Tayla, Alican; Çiğdem Öztürk, Yücel Göktürk (November 2007). "Bir Kamu Çalışanı Olarak". Roll (Istanbul, Turkey) (123): 28. ISSN 1307-4628. Kurnaz's book, Five Years of My Life, was published in English by Palgrave Macmillan in March 2008, with Patti's introduction.Macmillan: Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo Murat Kurnaz: Books (December 4, 2009). Retrieved on July 15, 2011.

On March 26, 2003, ten days after Rachel Corrie's death, Smith appeared in Austin, Texas, and performed an anti-war concert. She subsequently wrote a song "Peaceable Kingdom" which was inspired by and is dedicated to Rachel Corrie.Jury, Louise (March 25, 2006). "Jewish Pressure Drives Gaza Play Out of New York". The Independent (London: Independent Print Limited). https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/jewish-pressure-drives-gaza-play-out-of-new-york-471377.html. Retrieved February 26, 2009. In 2009, in her Meltdown concert in Festival Hall, she paid homage to the Iranians taking part in post-election protests by saying "Where is My Vote?" in a version of the song "People Have the Power".Patti Smith – People Have The Power (June 18, 2009).

In 2015, Smith appeared with Nader, spoke and performed the songs "Wing" and "People Have the Power" during the American Museum of Tort Law convocation ceremony in Winsted, Connecticut.Ralph Nader And Patti Smith at the American Museum of Tort Law Convocation. Between the Lines (September 26, 2015). Retrieved on October 19, 2015. Smith spoke, read poetry, and performed several songs accompanied by her daughter Jesse at Nader's Breaking Through Power conference at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.Breaking Through Power. Retrieved on May 28, 2016.

A long-time supporter of Tibet House US, she performs yearly at their benefit at Carnegie Hall.Template:Cite magazineKaplan, Ilana (March 17, 2017). "Philip Glass' 80th Birthday at Tibet House Benefit Concert Was a Message to the American People". Billboard. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7728619/philip-glass-80th-birthday-tibet-house-benefit-concert. Retrieved 1 April 2019."Bowie, Moby, Matthews Spark Tibet House Benefit". Billboard. February 27, 2001. https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/80520/bowie-moby-matthews-spark-tibet-house-benefit. Retrieved 24 September 2019.Walters, John (February 18, 2016). "Philip Glass Menagerie: The Composer on 26 Years of the Tibet House Benefit Concert". Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/annual-tibet-house-concert-features-eclectic-lineup-428239. Retrieved 1 April 2019.Sisario, Ben (February 24, 2010). "Concert Still Shines a Light on Tibetan Culture". The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/arts/music/25benefit.html. Retrieved 1 April 2019.

In 2020, Smith contributed signed first-edition copies of her books to the Passages bookshop in Portland, Oregon, after the store was burgled of a number of valuable first-edition and other books by various authors. She did so after reading about the burglary and its impact on the owner, stating that she "loves bookstores."

Beliefs[]

Religion[]

Smith was raised a Jehovah's Witness and had a strong religious upbringing and a Bible education. She left organized religion as a teenager because she felt it was too confining. In response to this experience, she wrote the line "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" in her cover version of "Gloria" by Them. She has described having an avid interest in the Islamic mysticism of Sufism, saying "I was drawn to the mosques and the Koran of Muhammad.". In 2019 Smith released Mummer Love, a collaborative album made in tribute to poet Arthur Rimbaud and the Islamic practice. Smith has also said that as an adult she sees clear parallels between different forms of religion, and has come to the conclusion that religious dogmas are "... man-made laws that you can either decide to abide by or not."

Feminism and women in music[]

According to biographer Nick Johnstone, Smith has often been "revered" as a "feminist icon", including by The Guardian journalist Simon Hattenstone in a 2013 profile on the musician.

In 2014, Smith offered her opinion on the sexualization of women in music. "Pop music has always been about the mainstream and what appeals to the public. I don't feel it's my place to judge." As at points earlier in her life and career, she declined to embrace politicized feminism: "I have a son and a daughter, people always talk to me about feminism and women's rights, but I have a son too—I believe in human rights."

In 2015, writer Anwen Crawford observed that Smith's "attitude to genius seems pre-feminist, if not anti-feminist; there is no democratizing, deconstructing impulse in her work."

Band members[]

Current

  • Patti Smith – vocals, guitar (1974–1979, 1988, 1996–present)
  • Lenny Kaye – guitar (1974–1979, 1996–present)
  • Jackson Smith – guitar (2016–present)
  • Tony Shanahan – bass guitar, keyboards (1996–present)
  • Jay Dee Daugherty – drums (1975–1979, 1988, 1996–present)

Former

  • Richard Sohl – keyboards (1974–1977, 1979, 1988)
  • Ivan Král – bass guitar (1975–1979)
  • Bruce Brody – keyboards (1977–1978)
  • Fred "Sonic" Smith – guitar (1988)
  • Kasim Sulton – bass guitar (1988)
  • Oliver Ray – guitar (1996–2005)
  • Jack Petruzzelli – guitar (2006–2016)
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