Singer, songwriter, poet and author Patti Smith has shared via an Instagram post that she is "resting" after a brief hospital stay for an undisclosed illness in Bologna, Italy. Smith had been forced to cancel several concerts after falling ill earlier this week.
The 76-year-old icon was in the middle of an eight-date Italian tour when she fell sick on Dec. 12. She has a well-documented bronchial condition, but Smith did not note that in her update. After being discharged from the city's Maggiore Hospital, she posted a birthday tribute to her late friend Tom Verlaine, frontman for the band Television.
Then earlier today (Dec. 14), she posted her hospital follow-up from Bologna, thanking everyone at the hospital for their "help and guidance."
Her message in full: "This is thanking all at the hospital for their help and guidance. I am so sorry that we had to cancel concerts in Bologna and Venice. I will return to fulfill my happy obligations. This is also to thank all the medical teams globally, who attend to the people’s needs, especially those altruistically serving under fire, all healers, physicians, nurses, attendants. Also I want to thank everyone for sending messages of love and concern. I am resting, as the doctor ordered, grateful to have had such care, though being painfully aware that many are not so fortunate."
Smith is also a prodigious contributor to the newsletter platform Substack, where she posted a short video on December 10, performing at Modena Duoma, a 12th-century Romanesque cathedral.
Smith has been active, both musically and on book signing tours, in the last few years. Her Substack newsletters are often video-based, as she takes readers on a journey from wherever she is in the world, writing tributes to late friends, including Lou Reed and Sam Shepard and sometimes beautifully written passages from her daughter Jesse.
She had taken a break from the music industry from 1980-1995 to raise her daughter and son Jackson with husband Fred "Sonic" Smith (formerly of The MC5) in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. In 1988, she released Dream of Life, which included the song "People Have The Power." Fred Smith died of a heart attack on November 4, 1994.
Since 1996, Smith has released several albums, contributed to numerous political causes, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and published her National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids in 2010, writing of her time in Manhattan in the 1970s and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Recently, she was named an Officer of the French Legion of Honor (Officier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) in 2022.
Her scheduled concert at Malibran Theatre in Venice on December 14 has been canceled. Smith is slated for three US performances before the end of the year. Her previously scheduled shows include a set at Chicago’s Salt Shed on Dec. 27 and two shows in Brooklyn, New York at the Brooklyn Steel.