Pat Benatar has refused to perform her 1980 song “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” in the wake of gun violence in the US.
The 69-year-old singer is currently on tour, performing many of her classics, including “Love Is A Battlefield” and “We Belong”.
In a new interview with USA Today, Benatar opened up about her refusal to play one of her biggest hits, choosing instead to stand “in deference” to those affected by the recent mass shootings.
This year alone, the country has been devastated by an increasing number of mass shootings: Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Highland Park, Illinois.
“We’re not doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ and fans are having a heart attack,” Benatar explained. “And I’m like, I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it.”
“I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it.”
She continued: “[The title] 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. I’m not going to go on stage and soap box – I go to my legislators.
“That’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”
The rocker later addressed how the US Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v Wade has also affected her work.
“Well, ‘Invincible’ is really important. I’m worried, like all of us, about fundamental autonomy rights,” she said.
“This is a slippery slope. It’s about not abortion for me. I’m concerned that people are not paying attention to what this actually means.”
Benatar can be seen on 31 July – further discussing the obstacles she overcame as a woman within the music industry – in the final instalment of Epix’s docuseries Women Who Rock, which airs on the platform at 9pm ET.