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9 Reasons Why 'Godmother Of Punk' Patti Smith Still Rules

In honor of the musician/author/rock queen's 69th birthday.

Let’s be real -- after all these years, Patti Smith is still the coolest.

Smith is an artist, a musician, a poet, an activist -- an icon. Her art has influenced generations of creative minds, and even today (Dec. 30), as she celebrates her 69th birthday, Smith’s status as “Godmother of Punk” remains secure as ever.

Here are 9 times birthday girl Patti Smith was the coolest ever.

  1. When she wrote two flawless memoirs about her life in rock and roll.

    Smith's 2010 memoir Just Kids, about her relationship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe, won the National Book Award. Its follow-up M Train was published in October 2015.

  2. When she created one of the most iconic album covers in music history.

    This simple black-and-white portrait, shot by Robert Mapplethorpe in natural light, covers Smith's debut LP from 1975, Horses -- a total classic.

  3. When she scored a hit with Bruce Springsteen.

    Perhaps Smith's most recognizable track, "Because the Night" is a collaboration with Bruce Springsteen that shot up the charts back in 1978.

  4. When she played the Vatican.
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    Singing for the Pope at the Vatican's Annual Christmas Concert? Casual.

  5. When one of the biggest bands in the world covered her song in tribute to Paris.

    At a tribute concert in Paris shortly after the city's devastating terror attacks, U2 invited Eagles of Death Metal onstage to cover Smith's "People Have The Power."

  6. When she wrote a song for “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”

    Smith collaborated with her kids, Jackson and Jesse, on this dreamy ballad for the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" series finale. She called the experience "a dream come true" in an interview with Pitchfork.

  7. When she nabbed a TV show based on her life.

    Showtime is currently developing a TV series based on "Just Kids," produced by "Penny Dreadful" creator John Logan. Cool.

  8. When she covered Rihanna.

    At a concert in New York, Smith covered Rihanna's "Stay," because even The Godmother of Punk loves Ri-Ri.

  9. When she hung out with the Dalai Lama at Glastonbury.
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    During her performance at Glastonbury Music Festival this summer, Smith brought out the Dalai Lama, because she's tight with influential world leaders like that.