Poet turned punk rock queen is an odd route to go, but for Patti Smith, it was the natural approach. In an erratic, almost androgynous whine, her lyrics of righteousness, love, sex and loss linger in our hearts and minds— the disheveled bohemian green bean with a guitar that proved every stereotype wrong.

In the haze of punk-rock creative combustion that was New York City in the 70s, Smith created a voice of singular female independence and power through her street poetry jams. “My design was to shake things up, to motivate people and bring a different type of work ethic back to rock and roll.”

In addition to “manning” her own badass band and making it out of the 70s alive, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is an accomplished author and journalist. We forever (and ever) tip our hats (and bras) off to the godmother of punk.