One of the most influential rockers of all time
Rock icon Joan Jett turns 63
Singer, songwriter, and producer Joan Jett was born Joan Larkin on September 22nd, 1958, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Just a teenager when she first muscled her way into the Los Angeles rock scene with the 1976 hit “Cherry Bomb” which paved the way for the Runaways to become the first all-girl group to make it in punk’s boy’s club. The following year, the Runaways released “Queens of Noise”, which featured such tracks as “Born to Be Bad” and “Neon Angels.” The album performed poorly in the U.S., but the Runaways received a warm welcome in Japan, scoring three gold records there. After members Currie and Fox left the Runaways in mid-1977, Jett emerged as the group’s lead singer. She was already a powerful force behind the scenes, writing most of the Runaways’ songs. The band struggled through two more albums before they were dropped from their record label. The group called it quits in 1979 and in the same year Jett was in England pursuing a solo career. She recorded three songs there with Sex Pistols’ Paul Cook and Steve Jones, one of which was an early version of Arrows’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. A year later, she formed a band called the Blackhearts and dropped “I Love Rock n’ Roll”, whose title track shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and turned Jett into a mainstream rock star. The video picked up a ton of airplay on the just-born MTV network, and the album went on to sell millions of copies. Jett would never get back to the plateau of having a number one single in the country, but she has continued to churn out excellent music. Her combination of savage originals and playful takes on covers kept her well anchored in the rock world. She is also known as the Godmother of Punk and in 2015, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Watch Joan Jett and The Blackhearts 1981 music video for “I Love Rock N’ Roll”
Watch Joan Jett’s performance at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame during her induction in 2015
Listen to some of Joan Jett’s best songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify
Watch more music related videos
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