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Women Who Rocked the 80's: Joan Jett

Updated on April 19, 2018

Who is Joan Jett?

Joan grew up on the East Coast near Philly, but at the extremely young age of 15 headed to LA, California, like so many other aspiring young artist, to pursue her music career. It did not take her very long to get started, thanks to Kim Fowley the mastermind behind the all-girl rock group the runaways. Joan and her other band mates Chery Curry, Lita Ford, Sandy West, and Jackie Fox joined together to make one hardcore rocking girl band. Although all of them were rather young, these young rock pioneers become a success almost everywhere. But for some reason they didn't get too much recognition in the United States. By 1979, the band started to kind of fade out, so Joan decided to set out, and kind of spread her wings out on her own making a name for herself.

After doing some work with Paul Cook, and Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Joan met up with the song writer, producer Kenny Laguna. He helped her record her 1980 self-produced LP. The album was pretty good, but she was not getting too much commercial success with it, because her sound was so different, from what was getting radio airplay. But in 1981 all her hard work began to finally pay off when Joan signed with a much larger label and formed her band the black hearts. She then began to see a much greater success with her album once she re-released it.

Why we love her

When MTV first aired on cable, Joan Jett was like a breath of fresh air. Her wild hair, laid back style, and raspy voice, made Joan Jett different from every other female singer, who were popular in the '80s. She was a break from all the bubble gum filled the pop scene, with their bright hair, electric blue eye shadow, and super frilly girlishness. In 1982, her sophomore release I Love Rock"N" Roll was one of the top-selling records of the year. That was the album that shot Joan back into the spotlight again. Just writing the words of her album puts that song in my head. Everybody sing with me, I love rock"n" roll put another dime in the jukebox baby.

Joan and the Blackhearts went on to make four more albums in the '80s. Even though her commercial success somewhat weaned down over the years. In my eyes, she will always be that awesome rocker chick, with that prominent voice and super awesome hair. Even to this very day every time I hear the song, Cherry Bomb I can't sit still, it's like that song is my dance anthem, I listen to that song on auto play. The rocker chicks of today owe Jett so much respect for the doors she has opened for them. Thank you, Joan, for enlightening us with the gift of your musical, and lyrical talents.


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    • parentsreview profile image


      6 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      Great article. Joan Jett is from the town I currently live in, Lansdowne, PA. The high school she, for a short time, attended is right up the street from me. It's Upper Darby High School, but many people call the school Upper Drugs ;)

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 

      7 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Joan Jett is amazing. "I Love Rock and Roll" is pure anthem of rock itself. She is awesome, and so are you for putting her on a pedestal. Thank you. :)

    • amymarie_5 profile image

      Amy DeMarco 

      7 years ago from Chicago

      I've always been a huge fan of Joan Jett and also of The Runaways. I always felt that she was underrated, especially in the late 80s when hair bands were in. You really can't compare her to those bands. Love this hub.

    • prettynutjob30 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Thank you so very much,I will post yours on mine as well.

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago that I've got my breathe back .....I have just posted this hub on my Facebook page with a direct link back here so people (hopefully) will discover Joan Jett - and more importantly - you!!!!!

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ..hold on hold on ... stop the hub presses .... lol - I absolutely adore and love Joan Jett - if this is not the greatest hub ever - I will not follow you .....

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      7 years ago from Escondido, CA

      Nice hub. I didn't know of her or music career, yet I can acknowledge why one would admire her. I will have to search out 'Cherry Bomb' because now I just want to know and hear it. If it causes the feet to move it has to be good!


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