American musician, singer and poet.
Having spent the early seventies writing and performing poetry, subsidised by rock journalism, 1975 saw the release of Smith's first album "/Horses", produced by John Cale, formerly of the Velvet Underground. The record fused rock and roll, early proto-punk rock with spoken poetry and is widely considered one the rock's greatest debuts. As Smith toured the United States and Europe, with the newly christened Patti Smith Group, punk's popularity grew and the second album Radio Ethiopia reflected this with a rawer sound.
The group produced two further albums followed before the end of the 70s, and while neither could match the first two records, /Easter contained the hit single /Because The Night which had been co-written with Bruce Springsteen.
In the 1980s she appeared to be in semi-retirement from music, recording only the album "Dream Of Life" in 1988, with her husband Fred "Sonic" Smith. Following Fred's death, 1995's /Gone Again featured tributes to him and Kurt Cobain.