Patricia Lee "Patti" Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.Called the "Godmother of Punk", her work was a fusion of rock and poetry.
Smith's most widely known song is "Because the Night", which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. In 2005, Patti Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. On November 17, 2010, she won the National Book Award for her memoir Just Kids. She is also a recipient of the 2011 Polar Music Prize.
Patricia Lee Smith was born in Chicago. Her mother, Beverly, was a waitress, and her father, Grant, worked at the Honeywell plant. She spent her early childhood in Germantown, before her family moved to Woodbury Gardens, Deptford Township, New Jersey, raised Jehovah's Witness. She had a strong religious upbringing and a Bible education, but left organized religion as a teenager because she felt it was too confining; much later, she wrote the line "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" in her cover version of Them's "Gloria" in response to this experience. She has described having an avid interest in Tibetan Buddhism around the age of eleven or twelve, saying "I fell in love with Tibet because their essential mission was to keep a continual stream of prayer", but 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." At this early age Smith was exposed to her first records, including Shrimp Boats by Harry Belafonte, Patience and Prudence doing 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. ClearartWide ThumbFanart Banner User Comments