Pat Benatar says that recent mass shootings have compelled her to “protest” gun violence and skip singing one of her most iconic songs.
In a recent interview with USA Today, the rock singer explained that she won’t be singing her iconic song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” during her current tour with her husband and musical partner, Neil Giraldo.
Reflecting on recent mass shootings, the singer explained that despite pressure from loyal fans to play what is called her “holy 14” songs, she won’t be playing the second single from her 1980 album Crimes of Passion.
“If we don’t play them, you’ll give us (a hard time),” she told USA Today. “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.’”
Speaking about the song, Benatar said she encourages her fans to listen to the song from the comfort of their own homes.
“(‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’) is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t,” she explained. “I’m not going to go on stage and soapbox — I go to my legislators — but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it.”
Benatar did not name anyone specific in particular. Though, according to Gun Violence Archive, since the May 24 Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed, there have been 142 mass shootings.
According to Benatar, it’s not just the issue of mass gun violence that has influenced her decision to skip the fan favorite. It’s the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade as well.
“I’m worried, like all of us, about fundamental autonomy rights. This is a slippery slope. It’s not about abortion for me,” she explained. “I’m concerned that people are not paying attention to what this actually means.”