Punk Legend Patti Smith Gets the Key to New York City

Punk legend Patti Smith, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and one of Rolling Stone’s greatest artists ever, can add a new honor to the list – the Key to New York City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in his final week in office, gave Smith the ceremonial key during a news conference on Monday. (The key resembles one used to lock the back door at City Hall, but the city is quick to note it’s entirely ceremonial and doesn’t actually work anywhere.)

She has done so much to light the way, and she has done it here in New York City,” De Blasio said. She is the third person he has honored with the key in the last week, following filmmaker Spike Lee and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

After her remarks, De Blasio presented her a lit cupcake in honor of her 75th birthday this coming Thursday, prompting a beaming Smith to say “I know that we don’t work to gather accolades, but I’m the kind of person that if I get one, I really love it.”

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