As Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Pat Benatar embarks on her joint tour with husband and musical partner Neil Giraldo, there’s one hit song of hers you won’t be hearing her sing onstage: the gold-certified, household-familiar “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
“We’re not doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ and fans are having a heart attack and I’m like, I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it,” she told USA Today in a recent interview. “I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. [The song title] is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t. I’m not going to go on stage and soapbox — I go to my legislators — but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”
The Grammy winner sings “Why don’t you hit me with your best shot / Hit me with your best shot / Fire away” in the song’s chorus. Benatar is among a number of high-profile figures to speak out against the disproportionate incidents of gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 357 mass shootings have taken place in 2022 thus far. Some of the most recent instances occurred during an annual July 4 parade in Highland Park, Ill., an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas and a local grocery store in Buffalo, N.Y.
During her conversation with USA Today, the singer was also asked about the Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, which protected the right to abortion. Benatar answered, “I’m worried, like all of us, about fundamental autonomy rights. This is a slippery slope. It’s not about abortion for me. I’m concerned that people are not paying attention to what this actually means.”
Benatar is a rock singer-songwriter who is best known for her tracks “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Heartbreaker,” “We Belong,” “Fire and Ice.” She was the first female musician to be featured on MTV, with “You Better Run” being the second song broadcast on the network in 1981.