Patricia Mae Andrzejewski did not follow a straight line to success. Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, she trained as an opera singer, majored in health education, dropped out of college, and worked as a bank teller before becoming the star we know as Pat Benatar.
Pat quit her day job in 1971 after seeing a Liza Minnelli concert in Richmond, VA. It would be eight more years of paying dues before Benatar’s first album was released, but it was worth the wait. Throughout the 1980s, she was a fixture on the charts, radio, and MTV.
Benatar released her first live album in the fall of 1983. Live from Earth also contained two studio tracks, “Lipstick Lies” and “Love is a Battlefield.” The latter became Pat’s biggest international hit, earning her a fourth consecutive Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance in 1984.
In the video for “Love is a Battlefield,” Benatar plays a rebellious teenage girl running away from home. Never mind that she was 30 at the time. In between shots of her singing the song, Pat leaves her parents and younger brother, becomes a taxi dancer, organizes a rebellion against a pimp, and spends a lot of time on a bus. It’s like watching a Hollywood movie in about five minutes. The video was the first ever to include scripted dialogue.
There are two things that make this video so memorable. First, it’s Pat Benatar’s look. She has the quintessential ’80s pop star hair and clothes. And then there’s the iconic dance number in the nightclub. “Love is a Battlefield” was nominated for Best Female Video at the 1984 MTV Video Music Awards, losing out to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” That must have been a tough decision.