Happy Birthday, Pat Benatar!

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Patricia Mae Andrzejewski (January 10, 1953) is an American singer and Grammy award winner from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, whose music was immensely popular throughout the 80s. During that time, she won four Grammy Awards and had 19 Top 40 singles, including "Love is A Battlefield", "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", and "Invincible". Although the singer had a musical upbringing during her childhood on Long Island and had plans to attend Juilliard, Benatar's professional music career was put on hold when she decided to attend SUNY Stony Brook. After a year, she dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar, a member of the Army. While the couple was stationed in Virginia, Pat worked as a bank teller outside of Richmond.

PAT-BENATAR-1980 photo credit: Mark Weiss


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image via Benatargiraldo.com

Reportedly, Benatar was inspired by a Liza Minnelli concert to quit her job in 1973 and begin her music career. She began singing in a lounge band called Coxon's Army; the band's bassist Roger Capps would later play for the Pat Benatar Band. In 1974, Benatar released her first single, "Day Gig". In 1975, the singer performed during amateur night at the Catch a Rising Star comedy club in New York, where she performed a cover of Judy Garland's "Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody". Club owner Rick Newman was so impressed that he called her back and became her manager. In 1978, Benatar's club performances earned her a record deal with Chrysalis Records.

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image via Benatargiraldo.com

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image via Benatargiraldo.com

Benatar notes that her early career was hindered by being overly technical, as she was a classically trained singer who had to learn not to over-emphasize technique. "It was a disadvantage until I began to sing intuitively. That's the only way to sing rock – from your gut level feelings. It's the instinct that the best singers have."

In 1979, Benatar and her husband divorced, and she released her debut album, In the Heat of the Night. Two of the singles became tremendously popular: "Heartbreaker" and "I Need a Lover".

 

Benatar's second LP, Crimes of Passion included "Love Is a Battlefield" and "Fire and Ice". For this release, she won four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Performance. Of the ten Grammy ceremonies during the 80s, Benatar was nominated eight times, including nominations for "Invincible" in 1984", "All Fired Up" in 1988 and "Let's Stay Together" in 1989.

 

In 1982, the singer married Neil Giraldo, a guitarist and producer she met during her days as a club performer.

Pat Benatar has won three American Music Awards: Favorite Female Pop/Rock Vocalist of 1981 and 1983, and Favorite Female Pop/Rock Video Artist of 1985. The singer was induced into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in October 30, 2008.

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image via Benatargiraldo.com

 

 

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 10 January 2014
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