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Pat Benatar No Longer Performing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” Because of Mass Shootings

"I tell [fans], if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it"

Pat Benatar
Pat Benatar’s cover art for rimes of Passion
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    Pat Benatar has retired her classic song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” “in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings.”

    Benatar hasn’t performed “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” live since May, and she has no plans to do so going forward. In an interview with USA Today, she explained, “I tell [fans], if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it.”

    “[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 on stage and soap box – I go to my legislators – but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”

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    Written by Eddie Schwartz and released by Benatar in 1980, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” was Benatar’s first top 10 hit in the US. It was later certified gold by the RIAA after selling over one million copies.

    Benatar is hardly the first musician to retire a song that didn’t age particularly gracefully. Elvis Costello announced earlier this year that he would no longer perform “Oliver’s Army” due to its usage of the N-word, while The Rolling Stones recently removed “Brown Sugar” from their concert setlists out of concern that the song’s opening line would be misconstrued. Paramore, too, retired “Misery Business” because of perceived slut-shamming sentiments.

    This fall, Benatar is set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of its Class of 2022.

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