Her Campus Bucknell is excited to welcome Joan Jett to Lewisburg this Friday, April 24th, as she headlines Chrysalis 2015. While some may know her as the “Queen of Rock & Roll,” others may just know her by name, or even not at all. Fear not, collegiettes. To get you excited and informed, here are 10 fast facts about Jett, the “Godmother of Punk” herself.
1. Joan Jett was born Joan Marie Larkin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After her parents got divorced, Joan changed her last name to Jett, her mother’s maiden name.
2. Jett’s childhood voice instructor, an opera singer, once threw her out of lessons because she didn’t like the way Jett was dressed.
3. Jett’s music career began at the age of 15, when she and four other girls formed pop-punk band The Runaways. Jett played guitar and sang vocals. The band stood out for its unconventional hard-rock sound, young age, gender, fashion choices (think: lingerie and leather jumpsuits), and rebellious, sometimes indignant lyrics.
4. Before a frustrated Jett co-formed Blackhearts Records in 1980, 23 other record labels rejected her. This made her the first female artist to run her own independent record company.
5. Jett has had five singles reach the U.S. Billboard Top 20, including “I Love Rock & Roll,” “I Hate Myself for Loving You,” “Do You Wanna Touch Me,” and more. But, her music has also been highly rated in other countries across the globe, such as Sweden, New Zealand, and Japan.
6. Jett is a vegetarian, but is working toward becoming a vegan. She is also an active member of Farm Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to protecting animals, and a spokesperson for PETA.
7. In the early 2000s, Jett played Colombia in the Broadway rendition of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” shaving her head for the role.
8. Jett’s song “Bad Reputation” was the theme song for TV comedy series “Freaks and Geeks.”
9. The 2010 movie “The Runaways” is based on Jett’s early career as a musician. Kristen Stewart plays the role of Jett, and the two spent lots of time together during the making of the film so that Stewart could pick up Jett’s mannerisms, movements, and “Maryland-East Coast-Philadelphia slang.”
10. This April, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, joining other previously-inducted musical legends such as Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, and Queen.