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Cherie Currie on Joan Jett's Rock Hall of Fame Induction: 'She So Deserves It'

By Gary Graff, Detroit | April 16, 2015 5:47 PM EDT

Joan Jett will have at least one former bandmate cheering her, from afar, when she and her Blackhearts are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday in Cleveland.

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"I am so proud of her," former Runaways singer Cherie Currie tells Billboard. "She so deserves it. I've never seen anyone work as hard as Joan has worked. She's made it her life and she deserves it." Currie says she's sent Jett some text messages since the announcement was made, "just saying, 'Wow! This is so cool!' Just a lot of texts and love and support. I'm really, really happy for her."

Jett's induction, of course, raises the question of whether the Runaways should at some point be considered for induction. Currie says that "a nomination would be great" but feels there's another priority before the Runaways get in. "I think Suzi Quatro deserves it before we do -- that's always been a stand of mine," she says. "Suzi was such a huge influence on Joan and the band, and when I see people like her fall to the wayside, I just...I think a lot of it's just very political, and I just don't think it's right. So I hope she gets nominated; I think she was truly badass and she really kicked the door open for us, and I just love her."

Currie, meanwhile, is rocking again with Reverie, her first solo album in 35 years (which is currently available on iTunes and looking for distribution for physical copies). The follow-up to an unreleased album produced by former Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, Reverie features four songs co-produced by the Runaways' controversial late svengali Kim Fowley (who spent the last nine days of his life living in Currie's house earlier this year) and covers of two Runaways songs -- "Is It Day or Night" and "American Nights" -- featuring vocals by former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford. Currie's son Jake Hays, from the band Maudlin Strangers, finished the album in Fowley's stead.

"To be able to work with Kim Fowley at the end of his life and also take care of him at my home before he passed away, to be able to purge myself of all those bad feelings and experiences I've had with him as a kid, that was just, to me, a blessing," Currie says. "I wanted this record done and completed before Kim passed away. He got to hear about three or four songs."

Currie plans to do some touring in support of Reverie later this year, after she fulfills some obligations for her chainsaw sculpting (the singer is commissioned for her sculptures, which she began during the early '00s and led to opening her own gallery in 2005 in Chatsworth, Calif.). She's also still hopeful the unreleased album she recorded for Blackheart Records -- which includes guest collaborations with Slash, Duff McKagan, Billy Corgan, Brody Dalle and the Veronicas -- will eventually see the light of day.

"It's a really good album, and we're still negotiating now to try to get it out," Currie says. (Billboard reached out to Blackheart for comment but had not heard back at press time.) "I let it eat me up for years and years, and now with this new record I'm just kind of moving on, 'cause it only hurts me if I continue to think about it. If it comes out, great, and if it doesn't, oh well. There's not much I can do at this point, just try to negotiate something fair."