Patti Smith (born Patricia Lee Smith on December 30, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, published author, and poet who is best known for her contributions to the punk rock music scene in New York City.
Though she was born in Chicago, Illinois, Smith spent most of her childhood growing up in New Jersey. In 1967 she moved to New York City where she met and became involved with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The pair was heavily involved in the Manhattan art scene, Smith herself regularly participating in poetry readings and playing shows with various other musicians. The release of her debut album Horses in 1975 launched her career and solidified her now pervasive influence on the New York music scene.
Smith has received much recognition for her artistic achievements. Most notably, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and won the National Book Award in 2010 for her memoir Just Kids, which she had just published earlier that year.