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Patti Smith. Central Park, New York City, 1976. Postcard.

Patti Smith. Central Park, New York City, 1976. Postcard.

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Patti Smith (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, who became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 d├ębut album Horses. Called the "Godmother of Punk", she integrated the beat poetry performance style with three-chord rock.

Smith's most widely known song is "Because the Night", which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. In 2005, Patti Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Activism: Smith has been a supporter of the Green Party. She led the crowd singing "Over the Rainbow" and "People Have the Power". Smith was a speaker and singer at the first protests against the Iraq War on September 12, 2002, as U.S. President George W. Bush spoke to the United Nations General Assembly. Bruce Springsteen continued performing her "People Have the Power" at Vote for Change campaign events. In the winter of 2004/2005, Smith toured again with Nader in a series of rallies against the Iraq War and calls for the impeachment of George W. Bush.

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