Pat Benatar says she has nixed her 1980 breakthrough hit “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” from her live setlist out of respect for victims of mass shootings in America.
The singer tells USA Today that she’s not changing her mind, even if the decision bothers some fans.
“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,” she said. “I tell them, if you want to hear that song, go home and listen to it.”
Benatar, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this fall, says she can’t pretend to be comfortable singing those lyrics after all the gun violence we’ve seen this year.
“[The title] is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line,” she added. “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.”
From Benatar’s quadruple platinum-selling sophomore album, Crimes of Passion, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” was her first Top 10 hit. It’s also her most-performed live song ever, according to setlist.fm.
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