Genius knows no boundaries when it comes to age. Plenty of renowned rock stars released now-classic music at a young age, some of them creating cultural milestones before they could enter a bar or even vote. Musically gifted child prodigies prove that sometimes genius comes to others the way it came to the young Mozart. While the rest of us entered college, the workforce, or the military, acts like The Runaways, Green Day, and Buddy Holly crafted remarkable songs and albums.
Some of these young musicians died before age 30, making the classics they created all the more valuable to the musical canon. Thankfully, other musicians on this list continued to achieve triumphs long after their breakthroughs.
Jett wrote the lyrics alongside Runaways manager Kim Fowley, while Cherie Curie sang lead vocals. It appeared on the band's '76 debut album.
Coupled with other cuts from Lavigne's massive debut, "Sk8er Boi" helped popularize the pop punk sound that reigned supreme during the mid-to-late-aughts.
Polydor eventually signed the Banshees after a bold fan spray-painted their building with the phrase "Sign the Banshees. Do it now." They then put out the group's landmark debut.
Though she wrote the song for another artist, Phillips and her fellow Mamas and Papas saw greater success with it when they made the track their own.
Before this album, with its alt-rock basis, Morissette predominantly recorded dance-pop songs.
Since the song details someone losing their mind, the band recorded the music video at an abandoned mental health facility.
Presley's version is a cover of a Carl Perkins song of the same name.
Holly followed up his hit single with "Peggy Sue Got Married," which was released after his untimely death in 1959.
For this monumental metal album, Hetfield impressively wrote all the lyrics.
When the band first released the single in 1964, it flopped and led to the duo's disbandment. In 1965, a radio DJ remixed it, and that version shot to the top of the Billboard charts. Its success brought Simon & Garfunkel back together.
Timed to be released with Holly's theoretical 58th birthday, the song was nearly scrapped from Weezer's debut.
Another legendary rock singer, Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill, inspired the song by writing the phrase "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the walls of Cobain's hotel room.
Joplin's version is a cover of a 1967 Erma Franklin song.
Co-written and produced by Wilson, "Good Vibrations" took 90 hours of tape to get right.
The single undoubtedly helped solidify The Smiths as an all-time-great band.
Hendrix wrote "Purple Haze" and recorded it with his band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, in 1967.
Otis Redding originated this tune, but it was Ms. Franklin who turned it into an ubiquitous anthem playable at rallies, commercials, and concerts.
Fully titled The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, the album introduced the world at large to the glamorous and androgynous world of David Bowie.
At the time of its recording, John thought "Bennie and the Jets" was odd and fought against its release as a single.