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[2019-11-27] Pat Benatar 3 things

Women Who Rock: 3 Things You Didn't Know About Pat Benatar

11/27/2019 12:00 PM

By Dan Amrich

After 40 years in the spotlight, Pat Benatar has finally been nominated for inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Powerful tracks like "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "Heartbreaker," and "Hell is for Children" made her a mainstay of rock radio for four decades -- but even if you know all her hits by heart, you might not be aware of some of her monumental achievements.

1. She was the first female artist aired on MTV.

The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" is fairly well-known to be the very first music video broadcast when MTV debuted August 1, 1981 – but the second was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run," the lead-off single from her second album, Crimes of Passion.

It's even less-well known that "You Better Run" was a cover! The Young Rascals reached the top 20 with their version of the song in 1966, but Benatar added a lot of grit in her version without sacrificing the harmonies.

2. She won the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female…four years in a row.

From 1981 through 1984, Benatar dominated the Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female category at the annual Grammy awards, taking home hardware for "Shadows of the Night," "Fire and Ice," "Love is a Battlefield," and the entire album Crimes of Passion. Among the contemporaries she bested over those four years: Linda Ronstadt, Grace Slick, Stevie Nicks, Donna Summer, Bonnie Tyler, and Bonnie Raitt. Interestingly, Tina Turner won the honor in 1985 and went on to her own four-year winning streak in the category – defeating Benatar three of those years. They remain the only vocalists to achieve this four-peat in this category.

"Love is a Battlefield" earned Pat Benatar her fourth Grammy Award in 1984.

3. Her name came from her high-school sweetheart.

While many people accidentally misspell her last name with two e's instead of two a's, her birth name is even trickier – she was born in Brooklyn as Patricia Andrzejewski, and married her high-school boyfriend Dennis Benatar while gigging in New York City. The couple divorced after seven years, but she retained the name, having started her professional career with it. She later wed her backing band's guitarist, Neil Giraldo, who had previously played with Rick Derringer; Pat and Neil have remained happily married since 1982. Here's a brief 2015 TV interview where they discuss their relationship.

Dan Amrich started his music journalism career at Guitar World and Country Guitar magazines and is the co-creator of Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans. He joined the Rocksmith team in 2014.

"Pat Benatar Live in Sydney 2010" by Alamo25 at English Wikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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