Pat Benatar was born January 10, 1953 on Long Island, New York. Though Benatar is known for her tough, lusty sound, she boasts an impressive three octave vocal range that would be perfect for opera. Fortunately for us, Benatar decided to use her vocal talents for rock n roll.
Although billed as a solo artist, Benatar has toured with the same core group of musicians throughout her 30-year career. She even married one of her band members, Neil “Spyder” Giraldo. Giraldo has written songs for Benatar, played on all of her albums, and served as lead guitarist on all of her tours since the beginning of her career.
During the course of her career, Benatar has twice been named Rolling Stone’s Favorite Female Artist. 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).
Benatar has won four consecutive Grammies and sold 22 million records. She has had nineteen Top 40 singles, including “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “We Belong”, “Heartbreaker”, and “Love is a Battlefield.” When “Love is a Battlefield” debuted, it was revered as one of the first music videos to blend a story-driven plot with a choreographed performance.
After the launch of MTV, Benatar became one of the heaviest played artists, and one of the first women of rock. She was a rocker chick, and with her short hair and fitted clothing, Benatar was the perfect combination of edgy and sexy. The record label played up her sex appeal, and although Benatar was hesitant about portraying herself in such a way, she went along with it. She was one of the first artists to wear a leotard on stage, and often wore tight-fitting clothing to show off her curves (these costumes actually proved to be beneficial, as they allowed Benatar to move freely and provocatively across the stage). While other female singers fell victim to the stress of the lifestyle (like Janis Joplin and Grace Slick), Benatar proved she was just as tough as her image.
Benatar kept her sexy stage persona separate from her reality. Her alter ego played to her darker side, and made each live show a theatrical performance. FMQB publisher Kal Rudman accurately described her as an actress in song. Although Benatar may have initially objected to her sex-driven image, she used it to her advantage and maintained a level head. Still one of the most renowned female musicians, Benatar remains in full control of her music.