Pat Benatarwas born as Patricia Mae Andrzejewski on January 10, 1953, in the Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, New York. She grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, on Long Island and studied voice and opera. Her mother sang opera. She graduated from Lindenhurst High School and also married her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar, in 1971. Pat and her new husband moved to Richmond, Virginia and she began working as a bank clerk during the day, and sang gigs in nightclubs at night. She and Dennis moved to New York City in 1975 and they were divorced in 1979. Pat was discovered in a New York City comedy club called, Catch A Rising Star, in 1977. She began to be recognized for her talent but the crowd exploded when she decided to dress up as CatWoman as a joke, and perform. The crowd went wild and she was signed with Chrysalis Records by the founder, Terry Ellis. She released a single called, Heartbreaker, in 1979, and it was an instant hit. The single reached number 23 in the U. S. Her debut LP called, In the Heat Of the Night, was more successful and soared to number 12. Pat had become a rock star virtually overnight. The LP was successful as far away as Australia with the cover hits from it called, I Need A Lover, Rated X, and the single, We Live For Love.
Pat released her second album called, Crimes of Passion, in 1980, and from it cam her biggest single hit called, Hit Me With Your Best Shot. The single hit the Top 10 Singles chart in the U. S. And sold over 4 million copies in the U. S. A.. The album reached number 2 in 1981 and in January, 1981. She received her first Grammy Award just a month later, for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance of 1980. She also released the singles, You Better Run and Treat Me Right (number 18 on the charts). You Better Run later gained some attention when it was the second music video played on MTV. The album stayed on the album charts for 93 weeks. Pat released her LP, Precious Time, in August 1981. The LP was her first to chart in the U. K. And it reached number 30 there. The lead single from the album was, Fire and Ice, which was another big hit which reached number 17 in the U. S. and number 30 in Australia. The song also won Pat her second Grammy Award. This time it was for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance of 1981. She went on to win 3 more Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance from 1980 to 1983 for her Fire and Ice, Shadows of the Night, and Love Is A Battlefield. She was Rolling Stone magazine’s Favorite Female Vocalist two times. She is to be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Billboard Magazine ranks her the most successful female rock vocalist of all time, according to her number of songs and the position they charted. Pat released a total of 12 albums, 3 compilations, and 46 singles to date.
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