Born In: Greenpoint, New York, United States
Pat Benatar is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She has gained cult status in the rock-n-roll music industry. Four-time ‘Grammy Award’ winner with five platinum and three gold-certified albums to her credit, Benatar often sends her fans into a frenzy with her impeccable talent and soulful renditions. Interestingly, the musical capabilities of this rock and roll superstar were once limited to only classical and theatrical. It was her future husband Neil Giraldo’s aggressive playing technique that helped her discover her hidden talent. Benatar started hogging the limelight when she performed for the comedy club ‘Catch A Rising Star.’ Her outstanding abilities and voice earned her a record deal with ‘Chrysalis Records’ and what followed was a brilliant singing and songwriting career. Right from her debut, she started delivering hit albums, thus winning four consecutive ‘Grammy Awards’ from 1980 to 1983. Additionally, she was nominated for four more awards during the 1980s.
Also Known As: Patricia Mae Andrzejewski
Spouse/Ex-: Neil Giraldo (m. 1982), Dennis Benatar (m. 1972–1979)
siblings: Andrew William Andrzejewski
children: Haley Giraldo, Hana Giraldo
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Polish American, German American, British American, Irish American
Notable Alumni: Stony Brook University
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: Stony Brook University
Pat Benatar was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski on January 10, 1953, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York City, USA, to Polish father Andrew and Irish mother Mildred. While her father was a sheet metal worker, her mother worked as a beautician.
From an early age, she developed an interest in fine arts, especially theatre. She even received voice lessons to improve her voice.
It was at the age of eight that she gave her first solo performance at ‘Daniel Street Elementary School.’
Her love for theatre and singing increased when she enrolled at ‘Lindenhurst Senior High School.’ She not only took part in musical theatre but also performed solo.
Since she spent most of her growing-up years in Manhattan, her musical talent was limited to classical and theatrical. She had very little knowledge about the rock scene.
She surprised her parents, friends, and teachers by opting out of a classical career to take up health education at the ‘State University’ in New York. However, she did not continue for long and dropped out after a year.
Post-marriage, she relocated to Virginia along with her husband who was working as a soldier. Meanwhile, she took up a job as a bank teller. However, the profile did not suit her taste and she quit the job in 1973.
Pursuing her singing career, she landed the job of a singing waitress at ‘The Roaring Twenties,’ a nightclub. Next, she received a gig for singing for a lounge band named ‘Coxon’s Army’ which was a regular at various clubs in the city.
In 1974, she came up with her first and only single of this period ‘Day Gig’ which was locally released in Richmond. The song was written and produced by Phil Coxon, the leader of the band.
It was in the following year that she received her big break while performing at a comedy club named ‘Catch A Rising Star’ in New York. Her version of Judy Garland’s ‘Rock-a-Bye Your Baby’ was appreciated, so much so that she received a callback.
The same year, she landed the role of ‘Zephyr’ in Harry Chapin's futuristic rock musical ‘The Zinger.’ The first performance was scheduled to take place at the ‘Performing Arts Foundation Playhouse’ in Huntington Station, Long Island.
Shifting base to New York, she became a regular at the comedy club ‘Catch A Rising Star’ for three years. She earned her first standing ovation on Halloween night in 1977. Dressed as a cat woman of the moon, she gave a scintillating performance at the comedy club.
Her increasing popularity and singing acumen earned her offers to record commercial jingles for ‘Pepsi Cola’ and regional concerns. Her four-day performance at the New York City’s ‘Tramps’ nightclub was much appreciated and revered, making headlines.
Her impressive performance and outstanding singing talent earned her a contract with ‘Chrysalis Records’ in 1977. Immediately thereafter, she met Neil Geraldo, a rock guitarist whose guitaring skills gave her the exact sound she'd been looking for.
In 1979, she released her debut album ‘In The Heat of the Night’ with assistance from Geraldo. The album became a major hit with two of its singles, ‘Heartbroken’ and ‘I Need a Lover,’ becoming an enormous success. The album achieved multi-platinum status.
The ravishing success of her debut album led her to release her ‘Grammy’ award-winning album ‘Crimes of Passion’ in 1980. The album became an overnight sensation and achieved platinum status, thus cementing her position as a rock singer. The singles ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot,’ ‘Treat Me Right,’ and ‘You Better Run’ were major chartbusters.
Banking on the success of her first two albums, she released ‘Precious Time,’ her third album, in July 1981. It replicated the success of its predecessors by topping the charts, thus becoming her third successful album. It achieved platinum status with singles, such as ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Promises in the Dark’ becoming major hits.
The year 1982 witnessed the release of her fourth album ‘Get Nervous.’ The album peaked at number four, selling over a million copies. Its single ‘Shadow of the Night’ was a major hit.
In 1983, she released her first performance album ‘Live From Earth.’ While the single ‘Love Is A Battlefield’ peaked at the 5th position on the music charts, the album gradually moved up the ranks to remain at number 13 for a long time.
In 1985, she released two albums, namely ‘Tropico’ and ‘Seven The Hard Way.’ While the former reached the 14th position on the US charts, the latter peaked at the 26th position.
In 1987, she came up with her first compilation album titled ‘Best Shots’ which was released in the UK. The album reached the sixth position on the UK charts and soon became a best-seller. Two years later, the album was released in the US and it achieved gold status.
‘True Love,’ a blues-oriented album, was released in 1991 and marked her first release of the decade. The album was appreciated by the critics and achieved gold status.
Redefining her style and sound in 1993, she came up with yet another release, ‘Gravity’s Rainbow.’ The album was followed up by the 1994 album ‘All Fired Up: The Very Best of Pat Benatar.’ It was a compilation album and featured the best of her songs.
In 1995, she embarked on her first major tour of the US. She also took her band to Japan and Australia. The overwhelming response from the tour inspired her to tour regularly.
In 1997, she signed a deal with the new record company ‘CMC International’ and released her brand new album ‘Innamorata.’ Following the release, she toured extensively, promoting her album. Though the album was well-received, it struggled to match the standards set by her earlier works.
Following five years of gap, during which she came up with an album of live recordings and compilations, she released an original and new album titled ‘Go’ in 2003. It remains her last original album released to date.
Benatar recorded and released a holiday song called ‘One December Night’ in 2015.
She also recorded the song ‘Shine’ to support the ‘Women's March’ on January 21, 2017.
The song ‘Dancing Through the Wreckage’ was the lead single from the soundtrack of the documentary ‘Served Like a Girl.’ In October 2017, it entered the ‘Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart,’ eventually peaking at #22 in November. The song also received a nomination for ‘Best Song from a Documentary’ at the ‘Critics' Choice Awards.’ In 2020, she released a single titled "Together."
In 2022, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2023, she joined Pink in the latter’s eighth concert tour named ‘Summer Carnival.’
During the 1980s, she was nominated eight times in the category of ‘Best Female Rock Performance’ out of which she won four consecutive ‘Grammy Awards’ for the album ‘Crimes of Passion’ and the songs ‘Fire and Ice,’ ‘Shadows of the Night,’ and ‘Love is a Battlefield.’
In addition to her eight nominations in the category of ‘Best Female Rock Performance,’ she also earned two more nominations in the categories ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance’ in 1984 and ‘Best Rock Vocal Performance, Duo or Group’ in 1986.
Other than ‘Grammy Awards,’ she is the proud recipient of three ‘American Music Awards’—Favorite Female Pop/Rock Vocalist of 1981 and 1983, and Favorite Female Pop/Rock Video Artist of 1985.
In 2008, she was inducted into the ‘Long Island Music Hall of Fame’ at the ‘Second Induction Award Ceremony and Fundraising Gala.’
She dropped out of the State University in New York after a year of studies to marry her high-school love interest Dennis Benatar, an army draftee who served for the ‘Army Security Agency’ at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. In 1979, the couple separated which eventually led to their divorce.
Post her divorce from Dennis Benatar, she got into a relationship with Neil Giraldo, a guitarist, and producer. The two entered wedlock on February 20, 1982. The couple has been blessed with two daughters.
In 2010, she came up with her autobiography titled ‘Between a Heart and a Rock Place’ which gave a detailed account of her life and success in the music industry.
This female rock sensation of ‘Love is a Battlefield’ fame gave up on singing early in her life in order to work as a bank teller.
In her 2020 tour, Pat Benatar announced that she won’t be performing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” This was a gesture of respect and understanding to the families of the victims of mass shootings.
She holds a shared Instagram account with her husband, Neil Giraldo, with over 58k followers on it.
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