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Joan Jett (born 1958) is a rock musician, singer and occasional actress from Pennsylvania, known for her straightforward Hard Rock sound, distinctive vocals and famous hits such as "I Love Rock 'n Roll", "Crimson and Clover", "I Hate Myself for Loving You", "Do You Want to Touch Me", "Light of Day", "Love Is All Around", "Bad Reputation" and "Little Liar".

Citing Suzi Quatro as an important early influence, Jett began her career in 1975 as the guitarist/vocalist of the seminal all-female rock band The Runaways. However, despite decent popularity at home and downright massive success in Japan, The Runaways proved to be Too Good to Last and disbanded in 1979.

After being rejected by nearly 23 record labels, Jett and Kenny Laguna created the independent label Blackheart Records to release future projects. Jett quickly assembled a backing band named The Blackhearts, whose lineup has varied throughout the years but have remained with her ever since. Their first album, Bad Reputation, spawned the single "I Love Rock 'n' Roll". A cover of a song by obscure pop-rock band The Arrows, Jett transformed it into a tough Hard Rock song. She was rewarded with a massive hit single that became her Signature Song, and never looked back.

Joan Jett is known for her Signature Style of simple, tough Rock N Roll that draws from a variety of influences (Punk Rock, Hard Rock, glam-rock, classic rock) and her distinctive snarling vocals. Unlike some of her contemporaries such as Pat Benatar, The Go-Gos or even her former bandmate Lita Ford, she has never compromised her music and always stuck by her Badass Ladette persona. Due to this combination of tough music and image, Jett has been cited as an important influence for several female rock musicians, especially the Riot Grrrl movement, and has earned the nickname "The Godmother of Punk". She has acknowledged this status and frequently worked with Riot Grrrl and Punk Rock bands such as The Germs, Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, L7 and The Gits.

Outside music, Jett has occasionally worked as an actress starting in The Eighties. She earned good reviews for her acting debut in Light of Day, has appeared in other independent films like The Sweet Life, Boogie Boy, By Hook or By Crook, and starred in a 2000 Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Show as Columbia.

She also made a cameo appearance in Repo! The Genetic Opera, giving a good example of WTF Casting Agency.


Discography:

  • Joan Jett (1980)
  • Bad Reputation (1981) - re-issue of Joan Jett on a bigger label
  • I Love Rock 'n' Roll (1982)
  • Album (1983)
  • Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth (1984)
  • Good Music (1986)
  • Up Your Alley (1988)
  • The Hit List (1990)
  • Notorious (1991)
  • Pure and Simple (1994)
  • Evil Stig (1995) - recorded with The Gits
  • 1979 (1995) - fan club only album
  • Naked (2004)
  • Sinner (2006)

Tropes:

  • Breakup Breakout: She's now more famous than when she was with The Runaways.
  • Cover Version: A lot of her output with the Blackhearts is made up of covers, not that we're complaining.
    • The Cover Changes the Meaning: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and a few others.
    • Covers include (get ready for a Long List):
      • "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore
      • "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)"
      • "Doing All Right with the Boys" and "I Love You Love Me Love" by Gary Glitter
      • "Shout!" by The Isley Brothers
      • "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
      • "Call Me Lightning" by Pete Townshend
      • "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells
      • "Bits and Pieces" by the Dave Clark Five
      • "Little Drummer Boy" by too many to count
      • "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen
      • "Summertime Blues" by Eddie Cochran
      • "Nag" by the Halos
      • "Everyday People" by Sly & the Family Stone
      • "Starfucker" by The Rolling Stones
      • "You're Too Possessive"
      • "Cherry Bomb" and "I Love Playin' with Fire" by her old band The Runaways
      • "Tossin' and Turnin'" by Bobby Lewis
      • "Bird Dog" by Boudleaux Bryant
      • "I Can't Control Myself" by Reg Presley
      • "Hide and Seek" by David Walker
      • "I Need Someone" by The Belmonts
      • "New Orleans" by Mike Berry
      • "Roadrunner" by Jonathan Richman
      • "Fun, Fun, Fun" by The Beach Boys
      • "You Got Me Floatin'" and "Up from the Skies" by Jimi Hendrix
      • "Just Lust" by Rick Nowels
      • "I Wanna Be Your Dog" by The Stooges
      • "Tulane" by Chuck Berry
      • "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by ACDC
      • "Love Hurts" by the Everly Brothers
      • "Pretty Vacant" by the Sex Pistols
      • "Celluloid Heroes" by The Kinks
      • "Tush" by ZZ Top
      • "Time Has Come Today" by the Chambers Brothers
      • "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
      • "Love Me Two Times" by The Doors
      • "A.C.D.C." by Sweet
      • "Androgynous" by The Replacements.
  • Cultural Rebel: One of the first prominent female hard rockers.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Arguable example - Jett is known for wearing all-black clothes to the point that it can become a Memetic Outfit, but this is more to reinforce her image than to actually denote, y'know, evil and stuff.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
    • Dye Hard: But, wore her hair short and blond for a while around 2000.
  • Heavy Meta: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll".
  • Non Actor Vehicle: Light of Day.
  • Bi the Way: Has also recorded songs about it.
  • Older Than They Look: She was born in 1958, but doesn't look past her thirties.
  • Real Song Theme Tune:
    • "Bad Reputation", for Freaks and Geeks and American Chopper.
    • In general, "Bad Reputation" seems to have been adopted as the unofficial theme of any work featuring rebellious young people.
  • Rearrange the Song: All the songs she's ever covered become punk-hard-rock. And it's awesome.
  • Revival by Commercialization: Her 1988 song "I Hate Myself For Loving You" is the basis for the NBC Sunday Night Football Theme Song.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The album title Evil Stig.
  • Signature Song: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Bad Reputation".
  • Stage Name:
    • Born Joan Marie Larkin
    • The name Larkin is derived from an old Irish name meaning "fierce."
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: It's occurred sometimes, such as with "I Need Somebody".
  • Textless Album Cover: Album.
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