Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar is an American rock vocalist from Brooklyn who released nine studio albums and a live disc on Chrysalis between 1979 and 1993. During the first half of the 1980s, she scored a string of modern-rock radio hits, including “Heartbreaker,” “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “You Better Run,” “Promises In the Dark,” “Fire and Ice,” “Precious Time,” “Shadows of the Night,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “We Belong,” “Invincible,” and “Sex as a Weapon.” Her striking appearance and theatrical delivery made her a staple of early music television.

Pat Benetar was born Patricia Mae Andrzejewski on January 10, 1953, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, to a beautician mother and metal-working father. She began voice lessons and theater classes at an early age. As a student at Lindenhurst High School, she sang the solo on “The Christmas Song,” released on the school choir’s locally pressed holiday album in 1970.

Scuttling plans to study opera at the Juilliard School, the nineteen-year-old Andrzejewski married her high school sweetheart, serviceman Dennis Benetar. They moved to Richmond, Virginia, where she worked as a bank teller. In late 1973, a Richmond concert by Liza Minnelli reignited Pat’s showbiz ambitions.

Benetar soon found work as a singing waitress at a local night club, The Roaring Twenties, where she formed a cabaret duo with pianist Phil Coxon. Their act expanded to a ten-piece lounge ensemble, Coxon’s Army, which self-released the album Live From Sam Miller Exchange Cafe in 1974. That same year, she issued her debut single, “Day Gig” (b/w “Last Saturday”), on local-press Trace Records.

In 1975, the Benetar’s moved to New York City, where Pat became a regular at the comedy club Catch a Rising Star. The following year, she won the part of Zephyr in Harry Chapin‘s short-run rock musical The Zinger. During 1977, she cultivated her spandex stage image while filming jingles for Pepsi and assorted local brands.

In the spring of 1978, she headlined four straight nights at NYC’s Tramps nightclub, where she was seen by several record company A&Rs. Chrysalis co-founder Terry Ellis signed her the following week. Around this time, she divorced Dennis Benetar but kept his surname.


  • In the Heat of the Night (1979)
  • Crimes of Passion (1980)
  • Precious Time (1981)
  • Get Nervous (1982)
  • Live From Earth (1983)
  • Tropico (1984)
  • Seven the Hard Way (1985)
  • Wide Awake in Dreamland (1988)
  • True Love (1991)


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