Who is Patty Smyth? Everything We Know About Her

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The music industry has a plethora of pop idols. These idols shine in their time, and their popularity slowly starts to fade away.

But, some stars shine forever, and Patty Smyth is one of them. Smyth has established herself as one of the finest pop vocalists to have graced the music industry.

Best known for her unique voice, Patty Smyth was the main vocalist of Scandal, a renowned rock band from the early 1980s. 

Patty Smyth
Beautiful Patty Smyth

Despite the success at the peak, the band disbanded in 1985. The life of Patty Smyth changed then after.

In this article, we have covered the ups and downs of Patty Smyth in her life. But before that, let’s look at the quick facts of Patty Smyth.

Quick Facts

Full Name Patricia Smyth
Known as Patty Smyth
Birth Date 26th June  1957
Birth Place New York City
Residence Manhattan
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Education N/A
Horoscope Cancer
Father’s Name George Smyth 
Mother’s Name Betty Smyth
Siblings Elizabeth Smyth
Age 66 years old
Height N/A
Weight N/A
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Profession Singer, Song Writer
Marital Status Married
Spouse Richard Hell (divorced) and John McEnroe (present)
Children 6
Name of Children Anna McEnroe, Ava McEnroe, Emily McEnroe, Sean McEnroe, Ruby Smyth, Kevin Smyth
Band Scandal (1981)
Labels Columbia, MCA
Net Worth $100 million
Merch Vinyl, Greatest Hits CD
Last Update March, 2024

Patricia Smyth | Early Life

Patricia Smyth aka Patty Smyth was born on June 26, 1957, to mother Betty, the owner of a nightclub, and father George Smyth, a construction worker.

Her mom was also a trapeze artist and the manager of legendary rock’n’roll guitarist Link Wray. She was the youngest daughter in the family. She has an older sister named Elizabeth Smyth.

But, unfortunately, Patricia’s parents divorced when she was young. She was then raised in Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn by her mom.

Patricia Smyth rough teenage days

Patricia got into trouble with the law at a young age. At the age of twelve, she was arrested twice.

She got arrested for assaulting an officer and waiting to buy drugs on a street corner. She was then bailed off, considering she was a minor.

Patricia would skip school to company her mom. She had to sustain herself and thus, started performing in the city.

When she was fifteen years old, Smyth got musical exposure after singing a song by British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Cat Stevens at the Folk City.

She also performed musical performances at the comedy club Catch A Rising Star. Patricia financially supported herself by working as a waiter in a steakhouse.

Patty Smyth | Musical Career

Becoming a member of Scandal

Smyth received a call from guitarist Zack Smith while working as a server at a steakhouse in the early 1980s.

Zack prompted her to join the band Scandal in 1981. She happily agreed and became the main vocalist of the band.

Smyth rose to national prominence as the main vocalist of Scandal. The band’s self-titled debut EP, released in 1982, became Columbia Records’ best-selling EP.

One of the album’s singles, Goodbye to You, reached #5 on Billboard’s Album Rock playlist.

Patty Smith with her band Scandal.
Patty Smith with her band Scandal.

The success of the Scandal EP was followed by the release of the band’s debut and only full-length album, Warrior.

The album was released on August 21, 1984, by Columbia Records and peaked at #17 on the US Billboard Hot 200 album charts.

The lead single, The Warrior, won a ‘BMI Airplay Award‘ and charted at #7 on the ‘US Billboard Album Rock Tracks‘ and ‘Canadian RPM Top Singles‘ charts and the ‘US Billboard Hot 100′ chart.

Although Smyth’s reputation grew with the band’s success, the band disbanded in 1985 due to internal conflicts among band members.

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Offer to join Van Halen

Patty was invited to join Van Halen by her friend Eddie Van Halen. She was offered to take over as lead singer position of David Lee Roth.

Patty took down the offer as she was eight months pregnant at that time. She didn’t want to move from New York to Los Angeles.

When asked if she regrets that decision, she said that she did regret it for the time being. 

Had she joined the band, she wouldn’t have had a solo career and wouldn’t have met her husband, John Mc Enroe.

Going solo 

In 1987, Smyth released her first solo album, “Never Enough,” on Columbia Records. The album was well-received, reaching #66 on the US charts.

The album’s title tune hit #4 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, while a cover of Tom Waits’ song, “Downtown Train,” made it to #40 on the ‘Mainstream’ list.

Her second studio album, the eponymous ‘Patty Smyth,’ was released on August 18, 1992, and went gold thanks to the success of its debut song, ‘Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough.’

The song ranked #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Patty Smith in 80s
Patty Smith in 80s

It was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Pop Vocal, Duo, or Group.

Smyth co-wrote the song “Look What Love Has Done,” which was used as the title song for the American comedy picture “Junior” in 1994.

The song got a Grammy nomination as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song.

She also co-wrote and sang ‘Wish I Were You,’ from the original soundtrack album of the smash hit American sci-fi disaster film Armageddon in 1998.

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Reunion with Scandal

VH1 recruited Smyth and the other members of Scandal for a Bands Reunited program in 2004.

This resulted in a brief reunion of the band, who did some performances on the East Coast of the United States in 2005.

As part of the We Are the 80s series, the following year, Columbia/Legacy published a new Scandal compilation CD.

Three previously unheard tracks from the 1982 recording sessions were included in the compilation. On January 17, 2009, they released their first single in nearly 24 years.

The failed marriage with Richard Hell

Patricia married Punk Rock Singer Richard Hell in 1985, with whom she has a daughter.

It was as they call, “love at first sight,” and it all started when Patricia was back home after a three-month tour of her debut album Warrior. When they met at first, Patty did not know who he was.

They started liking each other and eventually got married in St. Mark’s Church. It was just like a fairy tale for Patricia marrying her first love.

But, after two years, the relationship started turning sour. Patricia had her first child Ruby with Richard.

After giving birth to Ruby, Smyth suffered from Post Partum depression, and at the time when she needed the support, she was left on cold.

Patricia had a hard time. Her career was going downhill, and so was her marriage. They had arguments every day. So, they decided to divorce.

After separating from Richard in 1986, she focused on being a single mother.

Found love again with John McEnroe

Patricia attended a Christmas Party in LA in 1993, where she met Mc Enroe. Both were in a  transition phase as they had just come out of their relationship.

Patricia had divorced Richard, and Mc Enroe had just divorced Tantum O’Neal. Both were single parents. 

McEnroe attended the party with his children, who would follow him everywhere he’d go. Patricia found that cute.

McEnroe’s friend had planned to set him up with Patricia but forgot to tell her. So, he took the move himself to ask Patricia out.

Patty Smyth with her husband
Patty Smyth with her husband, John McEnroe

Patricia felt something familiar with him and thought he was the right guy for her. Many doubted their relationship and said it wouldn’t last long.

She never thought they would be together this long. Brought up by a single parent and her first marriage not working, Patricia had lost her hope in love and relationships.

But, after meeting John, she says she is happy how he has been there for all these years. She says she loves how they haven’t lost spark in the marriage and still feel the same as newlyweds.

The couple had their child Anna in 1995 and married later on 23rd May 1997.

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Patricia’s Children

Patricia was a mother from one child to five children within a year and a half. She was responsible for raising her child, Ruby from Richard Hell, and the three children of Mc Enroe: Emily, Sean, and Kevin.

She had her first child with John, Anna, in 1995, and her second child Ava in 1998.

Mc Enroe’s children stayed with their father as her mother was battling the drugs addiction. Patricia had a huge responsibility to take care of five children.

Being a mom was her full-time job, and she didn’t want to compromise with that. She sacrificed her career for being a mom.

Patricia says her children are understanding, and they encouraged her to get back on her musical career. She is happy with her six kids and says she has a big happy family.

Patty Smyth | Net Worth

Patty Smyth has a net worth of $100 Million. She and John own valuable real estate in Malibu.

In 2015, they paid $21 million for an oceanfront home in Paradise Cove, Malibu’s ultra-exclusive neighborhood.

John previously owned Johnny Carson’s Malibu home. In Los Angeles, John and Patty possess real estate valued at about $50 million.

They bought a two-acre estate in Southhampton for $4.2 million in 1999.


Is Patti Smith and Patty Smyth the same person?

No, they are different persons. Patty Smyth is the lead vocalist of the band Scandal, whereas Patti Smith is a member of the Patti Smith Group.

Why did Patty Smyth turn down Van Halen?

Patty Smyth turned down Van Halen as she was eight months pregnant and focused more on her child and family.

How long has Patty Smyth been married?

Patty married John Mc Enroe in 1997. So, it’s been 27 years.

Shaddy is a passionate writer and overall wordsmith. She is committed to satisfying your appetite for the content. She is not only an avid celebrity style enthusiast but also a singer herself. She makes cover songs during her free times.

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