This week, rocker Pat Benatar celebrated her 71st birthday.
Here’s 20 things you may not have known about the singer…
- Pat’s real name is Patricia Mae Andrzejewski.
- Pat’s father worked with sheet metal and her mum was a beautician who was also a trained opera vocalist.
- Pat sang her first solo as an 8-year-old in primary school. It was a song called “It Must Be Spring.”
- In high school, Benatar played Queen Guinevere when her school put on the classic play, Camelot.
- Pat planned to study classical music at Juilliard, but decided she didn’t want to and instead went to the State University of New York to pursue health education.
- After a year of college, Pat dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar.
- Pat saw Liza Minnelli live and was inspired to quit her job as a bank teller and pursue singing.
- Benatar’s first job in music was as a singing waitress at a nightclub called The Roaring Twenties.
- The first group Pat was part of was called Coxon’s Army. They were a lounge band that played local basement clubs.
- Pat got her break at an amateur night at New York’s Catch a Rising Star comedy club. She sang Judy Garland’s “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and the club owner called her back. He later became her manager.
- Benatar spent three years singing at Catch a Rising Star. During a Halloween show in 1977, she wore costume she had on from a contest earlier in the night. She was dressed in spandex as a character from a B movie called Cat-Women of the Moon. She would later wear similar costumes whenever she performed.
- In the late 70s, Pat recorded commercial jingles for Pepsi.
- In 1978, Benatar headlined at Tramps nightclub, where record company reps spotted her and signed her.
- Pat’s video for “Love is a Battlefield” is the first ever to have spoken words in it.
- The visual for Pat’s song “You Better Run” was the second video ever shown on MTV. The first was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”.
- In 1979, Pat and Dennis divorced. Three years later she married her guitarist, Neil Giraldo, and they’ve still together to this day. They have two daughters.
- Benatar is a huge Led Zeppelin fan.
- The Fast Times at Ridgemont High character Pat Bernardo is based on Benatar.
- Pat won the Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row, from 1980 to 1983.
- Pat has six platinum albums.
Happy birthday Pat!