HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Feisty and focused, Pat Benatar has a true fighting spirit BY BONNIE SIEGLER
Time has not slowed down for Pat Benatar. After decades in the biz, the life of this 1980s icon is moving at a faster pace than ever—and she is loving every moment of it.
This year, for instance, the rocker released a brand new song and female empowerment initiative called “Shine,” which aims to spur positive global and governmental change for women across the world. She’s also headlining a nationwide tour with her husband, Neil “Spyder” Giraldo, and advocating for various charitable initiatives—all while being a hardworking, supportive mother to Hana and Haley, her daughters.
However, none of this has come easy for the “Love is a Battlefield” singer. Throughout her iconic career, Benatar has had to fight for respect, success, and equality in her industry—all of which has come with hard work and determination.
HER OWN WOMAN
In the summer of 1979, much changed for this five-foot dynamo and four-time Grammy winner from Brooklyn, New York. At this time, the world was introduced to the firepower combination of Benatar’s voice and Giraldo’s guitar playing in “Heartbreaker,” a song that will forever identify her career.
“This began everything,” says Benatar of her signature melody. “When people heard me sing that tune and Neil play it, it absolutely changed my life.”
However, the artist’s career was no cakewalk: coming into the rock-and-roll industry as a female artist certainly came with its difficulties.
“I constantly felt like I was being left out of the boys’ club. When I started out, the men around me were patting me on the head, assuming that I couldn’t possibly be serious about my music,” she recalls. “It was sexist, it was misogynistic, and it was condescending.”
Because of this, Benatar set out to make a positive change in the lives and careers of other women—something her Shine initiative hopes to address.
“Shine just felt like a call to duty for me. I wanted to use my voice and do something – make a strong statement for women’s rights,” says the trailblazing songstress. “By joining together as strong women and lifting each other up, we will show the world that women’s rights must continue to move forward—we’re not going back.”
As a woman who lived through the feminist waves of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Benatar has grown an especially thick skin and feisty, independent attitude—something that has permeated all aspects of her life.
“Some of the people around me might say I’m like a pitbull,” she muses. “However, I’m more like a Jack Russell: I’m not going to bite your leg off, but I will annoy you relentlessly until you do what I want. I never quit. Everyone knows that about me.”
When she’s not actively trying to make the world a better place, Benatar works to improve her own body and soul.
“I’m definitely a spiritual person”, admits the Catholic-raised New Yorker. “I meditate and gravitate towards more of a universal philosophy, so that helps to ground me. It gives me a sense of peace, and it’s a big part of my life.”
Benatar also finds peace in her family life—something she always makes time for.
“I’m very close to my two girls. Plus, Neil and I spend 24/7 working side by side, so it’s an interesting relationship,” she says. “We work in our own little worlds, and that’s why it all functions for us. While he’s a flurry of activity from the moment he wakes up, I’m more of a thinker: I basically want to be reading books and writing all day, while he is constantly in motion.”
Benatar adds that the couple derives an excellent connection from their shared interests—especially cooking.
“We’re really big cooks. On the road, I bring two giant tubs of cooking utensils, cutting boards, knives, and we unwind from a long day of touring by whipping up a meal together,” she explains. “We’ve done this for so many years, and we have it down by now.”
Benatar also struggles with gluten sensitivity, making diet and nutrition key pillars of her health. Her nutritional staples include organic fruit and vegetables, grass fed beef, organic chicken, olives, and especially cheese. By paying attention to herself inside and out, Benatar ensures that she remains a true force to be reckoned with.
AN INSPIRED LIFE
With her intense focus on both personal and public care, Benatar’s balancing act is one that every woman can admire. The mezzo-soprano singer, actress, and songwriter continues to inspire ladies everywhere with her empowering lyrics, thoughts, and initiatives.
The keys to Benatar’s success lie in her deep-seeded feminist values, unwavering perseverance, and fiery spirit—all of which have been with her since day one of her decades-long career. One thing’s for sure: Benatar’s status as an icon has truly been solidified. Hit us with your best shot, Pat—we can’t wait to see what’s in store for you.VM