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Patti Smith Responds to Criticism Over Chelsea Hotel Concert

By Mathew Katz | January 11, 2012 5:29pm 
Patti Smith performs in Venice, Italy in Sept. 2011. The songstress is set to put on a private show at the Hotel Chelsea on Thursday.
Patti Smith performs in Venice, Italy in Sept. 2011. The songstress is set to put on a private show at the Hotel Chelsea on Thursday.
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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

CHELSEA — Singer-songwriter Patti Smith has responded to widespread criticism from Hotel Chelsea tenants who say an upcoming concert at the landmark building's ballroom proves that she's sold out to its controversial landlords.

"I am an independent person, not owned or directed by anyone," wrote Smith in a statement.

"My allegiance is to the Hotel itself, and I have done nothing to tarnish it. It is very difficult to embrace change, but my great hope is to witness the Hotel Chelsea find a strong and positive place in the 21st century."

The controversy spread across the web after residents received a invitation to a private concert featuring "People Have The Power" songstress, organized by the landmark hotel's new owner, the Chetrit Group.