Why has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame taken so long to recognize Joan Jett? Founder of the all-female riot that was the Runaways and the emotionally explosive Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, she has set the tempo not just for female rockers but for the entire genre. Happily, her wait will be over April 18 when Joan Jett & the Blackhearts are inducted in the Hall. As David C. Barnett pointed out on NPR Music, Jett will raise the number of female inductees to 66—out of 726 artists.
There’s a tribute to the group on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame site, but to really learn more about this rock icon, check out these books:
Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways by Evelyn McDonnell (De Capo Press, 2013)
The Runaways were female trailblazers—only teenagers at the time, Joan Jett, Sandy West, Cherrie Currie, Jackie Fox, Vicky Blue and Lita Ford—had four albums released by a major record label and toured the world. They were pre-punk bandits who revolutionized girl style years before riot grrrl. This biography goes beyond the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll stereotype to explore what the group means to musical, feminist and cultural history.
Using exclusive interviews, this unauthorized biography examines what it took for Jett to rise to the top of a male-dominated industry and stay there without compromising her artistry. From her mega-hit “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” to her anthem “Crimson and Clover,” Jett’s sound helped define the energy explosion of the 1980s sound.
What other female music icons do you think should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments.