"Patti Smith" (born December 30, 1946) is an American musician, singer, and poet. She came to prominence during the punk movement with her 1975 debut album ''Horses''. Called "punk rock's poet laureate", she brought a feminist and intellectual take to punk music and became one of rock and roll's most influential female musicians.
She was born "Patricia Lee Smith" in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in New Jersey. Her father was an atheist and her mother was a devout Jehovah's Witness. The family was not wealthy and, with her formal education over at 16, Smith went to work in a factory – an experience she found excruciating. She also bore a child whom she gave up for adoption. In 1967 she left New Jersey for good, and moved to New York and met Robert Mapplethorpe while working at a book store. The two were lovers for a time, in spite of Mapplethorpe's homosexuality, and they remained close friends until Mapplethorpe's death from AIDS in 1989. In 1969 she went to Paris with her sister and started busking and doing performance art. When Smith returned to New York City, she lived in the Chelsea Hotel with Mapplethorpe. (Among Smith's other well-known lovers were poet...