Pat Benatar Not Playing ‘Best Shot’ to Respect Shooting Victims
"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," the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee recently told USA Today. "I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it."
"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" appeared on Benatar's sophomore album, 1980's Crimes of Passion. The song became her first Top 10 hit, peaking at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the accompanying LP sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. Although "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" is Benatar's most-performed live song ever, according to setlist.fm, the singer said she wouldn't feel right playing it in the wake of a recent string of highly publicized U.S. mass shootings, including the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May, in which 19 students and two teachers died.
"[The title] is tongue in cheek, but you have to draw the line," Benatar continued. "I can't say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can't. I'm not going to go onstage and soapbox — I go to my legislators — but that's my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough."
Benatar is on the road with her husband and guitarist Neil Giraldo through September. She'll enter the Rock Hall alongside Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon on Nov. 5, when the induction ceremony takes place at Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater. (Judas Priest will also receive this year's Musical Excellence Award.) The singer insisted she and her husband enter the Rock Hall as a package deal or not at all.
"There were many, many years when it was tossed around about going in [to the Rock Hall] or not going in," Benatar told Billboard. "I was just kind of adamant about going in together, and it was pretty much a 'no,' and so, 'I guess I'm not going in, then,' and that was it. That's how it was for a very long time, so I'm very, very pleased it's going the way it is right now."