Facts about Joan Jett: What you may not have known until now...
Joan Jett is an American rock singer who rose to fame at a young age with The Runaways. The world success came to this truly "rock" diva after the release of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", a mega-hit, which Jett recorded with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: the track remained the leader of Billboard 100 for more than a month!
There is no shortage of contenders for the title of king of rock music, but when it comes to being crowned queen, there is one figure who is head and shoulders above the rest: and that is Joan Jett. With a career spanning over 45 years, she's made a loud name for herself with her uncompromising approach and independent spirit... Joan Jett has also proven that rock music is not just for men. That's why we decided to remember the most interesting facts connected with the name of this legendary woman!
She was only 16 years old when she formed The Runaways
Joan Mary Larkin changed her name to Joan Jett after her parents divorced. She was into rock music from an early age. So...no wonder she formed her own rock band! Along with Sandy West, Jett founded The Runaways, an all-girl band that was later joined by vocalist Cherie Curry, bassist Jackie Fox and lead guitarist Lita Ford. When the band first started playing shows in California, they were all underage. Jett was 16, and she wasn't the youngest member of the band, as Carrie and Fox were both 15! But how they rocked on stage...
She was copying the image of Susie Quattro
While Joan Jett was undoubtedly a pioneer for women in rock, she relied heavily on a prominent figure before her: Susie Quattro, a singer and bassist from Detroit who had achieved success on the British glam rock scene in the early '70s! Jett openly admitted that early on her hair, sense of style, and stage image were largely modeled after the image of Quattro, with whom she later became friends.
In 1977, she took over as lead vocalist of The Runaways
Originally Jett only sang in a few songs with The Runaways, and Cherie Currie was the lead singer of the group. That changed when Carrey left the group at the end of 1977 to pursue a solo career and acting work. Jett would then take over as lead vocalist on the band's last two albums, Waiting for the Night and And Now...The Runaways.
The Runaways finally broke up in 1979 over musical and personal differences; Jett wanted to play more punk music, while lead guitarist Lita Ford (who also achieved solo success) wanted to play heavy metal.
She created her own label because no one wanted to release her first solo album
Shortly after the breakup of The Runaways, Jett traveled to London to record her eponymous debut solo album in a studio owned by rock legends The Who. In Europe the record was distributed by the German label Ariola Records, but when she tried to sell the record at home in the United States, all the major labels refused.
Because of this, Jett and her co-writer Kenny Laguna decided to create their own independent label, Blackheart Records, to release the album (later renamed Bad Reputation after the hit).
She didn't really write "I love rock and roll.
If there is one song that the name Joan Jett is really synonymous with, it is the legendary "I Love Rock'n'Roll," the title track from her second solo album (her first as Joan Jett and the Blackhearts), which became a number one hit in 1982! The hit remains a radio favorite to this day... However, many listeners may not have known that it was only a cover version... But what a... The song was originally recorded by the British band The Arrows in 1975: Jett first heard it while touring the UK with The Runaways.
She refuses to comment on her personal life
Joan Jett has long been an ardent supporter of the LGBT community. Her work includes many songs that explicitly state her interest in both women and men. However, Jett has never openly declared her personal life or her preferences... In a 2010 interview, she remarked:
"Anyone who wants to know who I am can just read my lyrics - I've always written about who I am..."
She made her film debut with Michael J. Fox
Joan Jett made her film debut in Daylight: a 1987 drama written and directed by Paul Schroeder. And this film featured Jett and Michael J. Fox as brother and sister! The film received mixed reviews and low box office receipts, and Jett has since played only a handful of roles (including episodes of Highlander, Walker and Texas Ranger).
Nevertheless, the title song, "Light of Day," specially written for the film by the legendary Bruce Springsteen, has been a staple of Jett's live performances ever since.
It was she who chose Kristen Stewart for her role in Ranaways
In 2010, Joan Jett served as executive producer of Ranaways, a film based on the story of her breakout band. And Jett herself chose Kristen Stewart to play her in the film! Jett worked closely with the actress, working on her voice, mannerisms and stage style...
The film's shooting schedule had to be carefully planned in view of Stewart's commitment to Twilight, which was still in production at the time...
Her song "Bad Reputation" became the Ronda Rosie anthem
Another famous Jett song is her 1981 single "Bad Reputation." The song's defiant, rebellious attitude resonated with many fans, including mixed martial artist and wrestler Ronda Rousey, who used the song as opening music at several sporting events.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts appeared in person to perform the song when Rosie first stepped into the ring at WrestleMania 35.
She performed with Nirvana
In 2014, groundbreaking grunge band Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To replace their late vocalist and guitarist Kurt Cobain, the surviving members of the band invited Joan Jett to sing lead vocals on their iconic song "Smells Like Teen Spirit.
When introducing Jett, Nirvana bassist Krist Anthony Novoselic expressed his surprise that she had not yet been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! By the way: that omission was corrected the following year.