Pat Benatar, rock & roll goddess, signing copies of “Between A Heart and A Rock Place”
8/19/10 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers – Madison Road. Cincinnati, OH.
* 8/21/10 12:30 PM at Borders Books – Detroit Road. Westlake, OH.
* 8/29/10 12:30 PM at Borders Books – Boylston Street. Boston, MA.
9/2/10 at Quail Ridge Books – Wade Avenue. Raleigh, NC.
Pat Benatar (born January 10, 1953) is a four-time Grammy Award-winning American singer best known for her mezzo-soprano vocal range and establishing herself as one of rock’s top vocalists and one of music’s top-selling female artists with hit songs such as “Love Is a Battlefield”, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, “We Belong” and “Heartbreaker”. Benatar is one of the top-selling female artists of all time, and one of the 1980s Top Platinum Album Recipients, according to the Recording Industry Association of America with two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums and five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, plus three RIAA-certified Gold albums and 19 Top 40 singles to her credit.
In addition, Benatar was the first female artist ever to be featured on MTV, her music video, You Better Run, being the second video aired by the network at it’s debut, following The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”.
Patti (as she was known) became interested in theater and began voice lessons, singing at Daniel Street Elementary School her first solo, a song called “It Must Be Spring,” at age eight. She said, “As a kid, I sang at any choir, any denomination, anywhere I could.” At Lindenhurst Senior High School (1967-71), Benatar participated in musical theater, playing Queen Guinevere in the school production of Camelot, marching in the homecoming parade, singing at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, and performing a solo of “The Christmas Song” on a holiday recording of the Lindenhurst High School Choir her senior year.
Benatar was cut off from the rock scene in nearby Manhattan though because her parents were “ridiculously strict – I was allowed to go to symphonies, opera and theater but I couldn’t go to clubs”. Her musical training was strictly classical and theatrical. She said, “I was singing Puccini and West Side Story but I spent every afternoon after school with my little transistor radio listening to the Rolling Stones…”
Halloween 1977 proved a pivotal night in Benatar’s early, spandexed stage persona. Rather than change out of the vampire costume she had worn to a Greenwich Village cafe party that evening, she went on-stage wearing black tights, black eyeliner and a short black top. Benatar has stated: “I was dressed as a character from this ridiculous B movie called Cat-Women of the Moon.” Despite performing her usual array of songs, she received a standing ovation. Benatar has said that “The crowd was always polite, but this time they went out of their minds. It was the same songs, sung the same way, and I thought, ‘Oh my god … [i]t’s these clothes and this makeup!'”
Between appearances at Catch A Rising Star and recording commercial jingles for Pepsi Cola and a number of regional concerns, she headlined New York City’s famous Tramps nightclub from March 29 – April 1, 1978, where her performance impressed representatives from several record companies. She was signed to Chrysalis Records by founder Terry Ellis the following week.
“There was a long period of three years, when I spent my time taking demo tapes around and being rejected by one record company after another. Then just two days after the debut concert with the band, we were signed to a record contract….” Recorded in June and July 1979, Benatar debuted the week of August 27, 1979 with the release of I Need A Lover from the album In the Heat of the Night. She said, “My album was the last of a bunch by female singers to come out so I was told not to expect much, even though Mike Chapman was producing.”
She won an unprecedented four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Performance from 1980 to 1983 for her second LP, Crimes of Passion, and the songs “Fire and Ice”, “Shadows of the Night”, and “Love Is a Battlefield”. Of the ten Grammy Award ceremonies in the 1980s, Benatar was nominated for Best Female Rock Performance eight times, including for “Invincible” in 1985, “Sex as a Weapon” in 1986, “All Fired Up” in 1988 and in 1989 for “Let’s Stay Together”.
Benatar also earned Grammy Award nominations in 1985 for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female with “We Belong” and in 1986 for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Duo or Group as a member of Artists United Against Apartheid for their single, “Sun City”. Benatar is also the winner of three American Music Awards: Favorite Female Pop/Rock Vocalist of 1981 and 1983, and Favorite Female Pop/Rock Video Artist of 1985. Benatar was twice named Rolling Stone magazine’s Favorite Female Vocalist, and Billboard magazine ranks her as the most successful female rock vocalist of all time based on overall record sales and the number of hit songs and their charted positions.
Pat Benatar was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame at the Second Induction Award Ceremony and Fundraising Gala held October 30, 2008. In her acceptance letter, she said, “My upbringing, and the values and ideals I learned back in my hometown kept me grounded. I never forget that a small town girl from Lindenhurst, LI actually got the chance to live her dreams.”