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Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

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Wynnewood, Philadelphia PA, United States

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts are an American band led by Joan Jett.

After The Runaways split in 1979, Jett pursued solo career and met Kenny Laguna and soon released her self-titled debut.

Shortly after that, with Kenny’s assistance, Joan formed The Blackhearts with three obscure New York area musicians: Gary Ryan on bass, Eric Ambel (replaced shortly thereafter by Rick Byrd) on guitar and Lee Crystal on drums. After almost a year of touring, Joan’s first album with The Blackhearts, entitled I Love Rock’N’Roll came out in December of 1981. The album included a version of “Little Drummer Boy” on the pre-Christmas editions. The album’s impact on the music scene was immediate with the LP reaching the Top Five, while the single “I Love Rock’n’Roll” hit the very top of the Billboard’s Charts on March 20, 1982 and stayed #1 for 7 weeks. Joan Jett had come back from nowhere.

A string of Top 40 hits followed, as well as sellout tours with The Police, Queen, and Aerosmith, among others. Jett was the second American act of any kind to perform behind the Iron Curtain, the first one being Blood, Sweat & Tears in Romania in 1969. She was among the first English-speaking acts to appear in Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Forced label changes in the 80’s led to a decline in popularity. Despite the follow-up albums “Album” and “Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth” being praised by her devout fans, neither got the attention or radio play the first two albums received.

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