Patti Smith, born in Chicago and raised in South Jersey, migrated to New York in 1967. It was there that she met Robert Mapplethorpe, and together they encouraged each other to attain their artistic pursuits.
In 1975 Patti Smith released her seminal first album, Horses. This recording was followed by Radio Ethiopia, Easter, which included her top twenty hit "Because the Night," and Wave.
In 1979, Smith relocated to Detroit. She married Fred "Sonic" Smith in 1980 and had two children, Jackson and Jesse, both now musicians in their own right. In 1988, Patti and Fred Smith recorded Dream of Life, which included the classic anthem, "People Have the Power." After Fred's passing in 1994, Smith moved back to New York to transition into the next phase of her life.
Since then, Patti Smith has released Gone Again, Peace and Noise, Gung Ho, trampin, and Twelve, as well as a compilation album entitled Land and a reissue of Horses. Horses was inducted into the National Recording Registry on June 23, 2010 by The Library of Congress/National Recording Preservation Board. Smith also released Outside Society in 2011, the first single-CD collection to span her Arista and Columbia years from 1975 to 2007.
Patti Smith's art has been exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide. Represented by the Robert Miller Gallery in New York since 1978, her exhibition Strange Messenger was launched at the Andy Warhol Museum in 2002 and her multimedia exhibition Land 250 was featured at the Cartier Foundation of Contemporary Art in 2008.
Most recently, Smith's exhibits have included Patti Smith: 9.11 Babelogue in New York City at Hunter College's Art Gallery in 2011, a visual response to the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001. Patti Smith: Camera Solo, Smith's first museum exhibition of her photography in the United States, was displayed in Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum from October 20, 2011 to February 2012 and then from June 1, 2012 to September 1, 2012 at The Detroit Institute of Art. The Patti Smith: Camera Solo exhibit will travel to the Art Gallery of Toronto in 2013.
Patti Smith is the author of Witt, Babel, Coral Sea, Woolgathering, Auguries of Innocence, and Just Kids. Just Kids, the critically acclaimed memoir of her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, was awarded the 2010 National Book Award.
Smith has been widely recognized for her accomplishments in various arts. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and was awarded the honor of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture, France's highest honor for contribution to the arts and culture. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Rowan State University, Pratt Institute of Art, and the School of Art Institute Chicago. Steven Sebring's 2008 documentary feature, Patti Smith: Dream of Life, was acknowledged internationally and received an Emmy nomination.
Smith's lifetime achievement in music was honored by ASCAP with the Founders Award in 2010, and was also recognized internationally with the bestowal of Sweden's Polar Music Prize in 2011. Smith was listed as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2011, as well as one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists.
Patti Smith and her band released a new studio recording entitled Banga on June 5, 2012. The band has spent the summer touring Europe, and will headline a North American tour this fall before joining Neil Young in November. In January 2013, Patti Smith and her band will go on to play in Japan.
Smith continues to work on new book projects, readings, art, and human rights issues.