Joan Jett

Rock ‘n’ roll has seen its fair share of legends, but few have left an indelible mark on the genre quite like Joan Jett. Born Joan Marie Larkin on September 22, 1958, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she would grow up to become an iconic figure in the world of rock music, especially during the vibrant and revolutionary era of the 1980s. Joan Jett’s journey from a rebellious teenager to a bona fide rock star is a testament to her unwavering determination and passion for music.

The Early Years: A Rebel With a Guitar

Joan Jett’s love affair with music began at a young age when she received her first guitar at the tender age of 13. The instrument would become her lifelong companion and the source of her creative expression. Growing up in a conservative suburban neighborhood, she felt like an outsider, longing for a way to escape the confines of a traditional upbringing.

In 1975, Joan joined the groundbreaking all-female rock band, The Runaways. At just 17, she was the rhythm guitarist and shared vocal duties with Cherie Currie. The band’s provocative image and rebellious attitude challenged societal norms, becoming a symbol of female empowerment and teenage rebellion. Though The Runaways disbanded in 1979, the experience left an indelible mark on Joan and ignited her passion for pursuing a solo career.

The 1980s: Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

The 1980s would prove to be a defining decade for Joan Jett. In 1980, she founded the band Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, and together, they crafted the sound that would define a generation. The group’s music was a fusion of punk rock, hard rock, and catchy pop hooks, resulting in an irresistible blend that appealed to a wide audience.

One of the band’s most iconic hits came in 1981 with “I Love Rock ‘n Roll.” The song became an instant anthem and topped the charts for seven consecutive weeks, establishing Joan Jett as a rock superstar. The song’s infectious guitar riff and Joan’s confident vocals resonated with fans around the world, and it remains a staple of rock radio even today.

Throughout the 1980s, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts continued to release hit after hit, including “Crimson and Clover,” “Bad Reputation,” “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah),” and “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Their music captured the rebellious spirit of the era and solidified Joan Jett’s status as a trailblazer in rock music.

Career Highlights

Numerous achievements and highlights marked Joan Jett’s career during the 1980s:

  1. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In 2015, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, recognizing their significant impact on the music industry.
  2. Enduring Influence: Joan’s influence on subsequent generations of musicians is immeasurable. Her pioneering spirit and unapologetic attitude inspire countless artists, particularly women, to pick up a guitar and rock out.
  3. Soundtrack Success: Joan Jett’s music has been featured in numerous films and television shows, contributing to her enduring popularity. Her songs have provided the soundtrack to pivotal moments in movies like “Shrek” and “10 Things I Hate About You.”
  4. Social Activism: Beyond her music career, Joan Jett has been a vocal advocate for animal rights. Her activism demonstrates her commitment to using her platform for positive change.

Joan Jett’s fearless pursuit of her rock ‘n’ roll dreams and her unwavering commitment to her art have made her an enduring icon. Her music continues to resonate with old and new fans alike, ensuring that her legacy will live on for generations to come.


In an era where the music industry underwent rapid transformations, Joan Jett stood as a symbol of defiance and authenticity. With her leather jacket, smoldering gaze, and a guitar slung low, she embodied the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, making her an unforgettable figure in the annals of music history. Joan Jett, the unapologetic rocker, remains an inspiration for anyone who dares to challenge the status quo and march to the beat of their drum.


Joan Jett – Wikipedia