The 70s were dominated by hard rocking boys and their guitars so it was always nice to find a gal holding her own in the male-dominated music industry. Pat Benatar was not only a lone female in a sea of testosterone, but she also had one of the best voices to ever grace the charts.
Born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski in Brooklyn, the young singer studied opera and at 19, she married her school sweetheart who provided her with a more stage-friendly last name. Benatar kept the name if not the husband and in the late 70s caught a big break during a comedy club’s Amateur Night. Snapped up by Chrysalis Records, Benatar released her debut album, In the Heat of the Night in 1979.
The album spawned two Top 40 hits, “Heartbreaker” and “We Live for Love,” delivered in Benatar’s powerful and polished voice. A year later, Crimes of Passion brought more recognition for the former operatic singer, as “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” reached the Top 10 and earned Pat a Grammy award. Another of the album’s songs, “Hell is for Children,” wasn’t even released as a single but became one of her more popular tunes anyway, attracting attention to the serious matter of child abuse.
Benatar won another Grammy a year later for “Fire and Ice” from her album Precious Time and yet another award for “Shadows of the Night” from Get Nervous. If you’re keeping count, that’s three (3) Grammy Awards in as many years.
Experimenting with New Wave, Benatar released a live album titled Live from Earth that contained a few studio-recorded songs, including “Love is a Battlefield,” her biggest hit to date. Accompanied by a groundbreaking music video, the song about a young runaway facing the tough world alone won the talented singer another Grammy and would become one of her best-remembered offerings.
Pat mellowed out on her next album, Tropico, and had more synth-flavored hits like “We Belong.” “Invincible,” the theme song from the 1985 movie The Legend of Billie Jean, was another hard rocking anthem to youth and girl power. The hits kept on coming in the late 80s and 1989 saw the release of Pat’s best-selling hits compilation, Best Shots.
Benatar released several more albums in the 90s, trying out new styles and forms for her truly awesome voice. Her most recent album of new material was 2003′s Go but there have been more compilations and best hits releases to keep fans interested. She also continues to tour regularly, having taken to the road every year in the last decade. Meanwhile, her legacy of hits has ensured that Pat Benatar will always maintain a presence on radio, and within the hearts of her many loyal fans.
If you are a fan of Pat Benatar, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your thoughts about her career in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this formidable 80s rocker.