Patti Smith

Yoselin Vazquez and Karla River 317


Patti Smith was born in Chicago,Illinois but grew up in Newbury, New Jersey. She is a poet, singer, songwriter, and visual artist who became extremely popular in 1975.


As a child, Smith spent the first four years of her life on the south side of Chicago,but then her family moved to Philadelphia in 1950 and then finally to Woodbury, New Jersey, when she was 9 years old. Smith had a shy demeanor but was a happy child, and she said she knew she 'was destined for greatness.' She was described as a tomboy, and instead of 'girly' activities she preferred roughhousing with her male friends


Smith attended Deptford High School, which was a racially integrated school. She performed in many school plays and was interested in art while her time there. She also developed an intense interest in performance and music, which led her to being in many school musicals. She graduated Deptford in 1964, and enrolled in Glassboro State Teachers College, which is now known as Rowan University.


Smith was the eldest of four children born to Beverly Smith and Grant Smith. Her mother was a jazz singer who became a waitress, and her father was a machinist at a Honeywell plant. She is of Irish ancestry and had a strong religious upbringing. In 1979 Smith had fallen in love with MC5 guitarist Fred Smith, and they got married in 1980. She had two kids with him, Jesse who was born in 1987 and Jackson who was born in 1982.


By 1974 Smith was performing rock music with Lenny Kaye and later with a full band compromising of Kaye, Ivan Kral, Jay Dee Daugherty, and Richard Sohl. The group was signed by Clive Davis of Arista Records and recorded their debut album Horses in 1975. It was produced by John Cale and fused punk rock and spoken poetry. As popularity of punk rock grew, they began touring all over the U.S. In 1978 she released Easter which was her most commercially successful album. In the following 40 years, she would release 5 more albums. She now has 11 total albums.


Smith was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards and one NME award, and won Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame performer for "M Train". One big accomplishment was getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007. On November 17, 2010 she won the National Book Award her memoir Just Kids. She was also the recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.