Pat Benatar was one of the most popular musical artists of the 1980s, garnering numerous platinum albums and hit singles. She started as a straight-ahead hard-rock artist, but later explored slower tempos and keyboard sounds as the decade progressed. Thanks in part to her distinctive style and good looks, her videos were very popular in the early days of MTV (her video for “You Better Run” was the second video shown on the channel), further cementing her popularity. Throughout her career, Benatar has been aided by lead guitarist bandmate and then husband Neil Giraldo. During the 1980s she won the Grammy Award for best rock female for four consecutive years running.

Benatar’s first album was issued in 1979, containing the first single “I Need a Lover” written (and later recorded) by John Mellencamp. The surprise hit single was “Heartbreaker”, a hard rock classic. Crimes of Passion was issued in 1980 and became a multi-platinum smash thanks to the hit singles “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, “Treat Me Right”, “Hell is for Children” and “You Better Run”. The album made Benatar a superstar, and the album has since sold over five million copies.

Benatar’s 1981 Platinum follow-up, Precious Time, kept to the template. The album was Benatar’s first number one and featured more popular tracks including “Promises in the Dark” and a cover of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter”. “Fire and Ice” was the album’s lead single, becoming another top 20 hit for Benatar. The heavy bass and guitar line were common among Benatar’s early hits. Benatar’s strong voice and Giraldo’s guitar work are on fine display in the song as well. The song’s female-oriented lyrics brought many women into the hard rock scene, often hostile toward women. Several popular songs in Benatar’s catalog have a strong female perspective, making her body of work enduring to many.

The hits kept coming throughout the decade, though some hard rock fans didn’t appreciate more pop-oriented songs such as “Love is a Battlefield”, “Invincible”, and “We Belong” (all top 10 pop hits). Benatar issued a blues album in 1991 and only sporadically since then, though she continues to tour and is still a very popular performer.