Patti Smith

United States, 1946

Patti Smith is a singer and poet. As the ‘Godmother of Punk’, she protested against social conventions, mindless factory labour and the commercialised world with her powerful and controversial music. She grew up with the music of Bob Dylan, lived together with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe and became a familiar face in the turbulent art scene of New York City.

In 1974 Smith started performing with guitarist Lenny Kaye, forming the core of The Patti Smith Group. Her debut album Horses (1975) is considered to be one of the most influential albums in the history of rock music. With Bruce Springsteen she wrote Because the Night, her biggest hit. In addition to many albums, Smith also published poetry and books, including Just Kids (2010), her award-winning autobiography on life in New York in the seventies and her relation with Mapplethorpe.