Patti Smith Named 2017 John Lennon Real Love Award Honoree

Watch unearthed video of rocker covering "Oh Yoko" at 2010 ceremony

Patti Smith will receive the John Lennon Real Love Award at the 37th Annual John Lennon Tribute concert. Credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns

Patti Smith will receive the John Lennon Real Love Award at the Theatre Within's 37th Annual John Lennon Tribute, taking place December 1st at Symphony Space in New York City.

During the show, Smith will perform a set comprising her favorite Lennon and Beatles tunes, while an array of artists will also team to cover Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in its entirety to celebrate the album's 50th anniversary. Additional performers will be announced on Lennon's birthday, October 9th.

Smith will be the fourth person to receive the John Lennon Real Love Award. Folk-rock legend Donovan earned the honor last year, while the other two recipients are playwright and The Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler and famed rock photographer Bob Gruen.

"Patti Smith is one of the truly great and important artists of her generation," said Yoko Ono. "Patti's music, writing and social activism have inspired millions to care about the world more deeply and love more fully."

Smith previously performed at the Theatre Within's John Lennon Tribute in 2010. A previously unreleased video of her performing a rollicking cover of Lennon's "Oh Yoko!" is now available to watch.


Tickets for the 37th John Lennon Tribute go on sale September 22nd at 1 p.m. ET via the concert's website. A limited number of VIP packages will also be available.

Proceeds from the John Lennon Tribute will support the free workshops the Theatre Within hosts at Gilda's Club in New York City. Gilda's Club – named for Gilda Radner – is a community organization for those living with cancer, and the Theatre Within's workshops include a songwriting class, the John Lennon Real Love Project, and a meditation workshop, Imagine Peace, Practice Peace.