The Powerful Reason Pat Benatar Refuses To Sing Her Biggest Hit

Pat Benatar is famous for a number of iconic, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs jams, including "We Belong," "Heartbreaker," and "Love Is a Battlefield" — which was featured in "13 Going On 30," if you remember. But Benatar's most popular hit ever has to be "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." As soon as you hear the opening lick and Benatar sing, "Well you're the real tough cookie with a long history/Of breaking little hearts like the one in me," you know everyone in the room is about to start belting along. 

So, why has Benatar decided to stop performing the epic breakup anthem? Don't we need a little women empowerment these days? Well it turns out that Benatar — who is still touring, by the way — actually has a very powerful reason behind her decision to stop singing the hit. The singer has explained that even though the song is about mental toughness, the lyrics might be sending the wrong message. 

Pat Benatar says it's her form of protest against gun violence

While "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" is still Pat Benatar's most famous and popular hit, her decision to stop singing it is her own form of protest against gun violence in America. "I'm sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I'm not singing it," Benatar told USA Today in a July 21 interview. She said the title, "is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line." Benatar explained, "I can't say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can't. 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." She says if fans really want to hear the song, they can go home and listen to it. 

According to The New York Times, there have been at least 356 mass shootings in the United States in 2022 so far alone. This includes the Highland Park shooting that killed seven people, the Uvalde shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers, and the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, New York that killed 10 people. Benetar is just one of the many public figures who've spoken out against the violence, joining the likes of Amy Schumer and Matthew McConaughey, to name a few.