March 20, 1982 -With her smoldering looks and guitar hooks, Joan Jett had rock-star charisma to rival any man’s. Jett burst onto the scene as a solo artist with “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the three-chord anthem that topped the Billboard pop chart on March 20, 1982.
“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was originally written and recorded in 1975 by a British group called the Arrows, who never made an impact on this side of the Atlantic. Joan Jett heard the song in 1977 while touring the U.K. with the Runaways, the teenage hard-rock girl group that also
launched the career of hair-metal diva Lita Ford. Following the demise of the Runaways, Jett kicked off her solo career with a roughed-up version of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” in 1979 and a debut album called Bad Reputation in 1980. While that album’s titl
e track has since become regarded as a classic, it was not until 1982’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll,” from the album of the same name, that Joan Jett truly became a household name.