Rocker Pat Benatar says she is refusing to sing her ’80s hit “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” after recent gun violence in the United States.
In an interview with USA Today, Benatar says she wasn’t going to sing the song on her current tour in deference to the victims of the families of mass shootings, such as the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, or the Fourth of July parade shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.
“I’m not singing it,” Benatar said. “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. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t.”
Benatar added that she was refusing to sing the song as a political protest.
“I’m not going to go on stage and soapbox – I go to my legislators – but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it,” she said. “Tough.”
“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” was written by Eddie Schwartz and was released in 1980, becoming Benatar’s first Billboard 100 Top 10 single. The song, about a relationship breakup, contains the lyrics “fire away” in the chorus.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is the latest celebrity to speak out about recent gun violence in the U.S.
Last week, University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson announced he would no longer use the nickname “AR-15” and said he would change the branding on his apparel line.
“While a nickname is only a nickname and ‘AR-15’ was simply a representation of my initials combined with my jersey number, it is important to me that my name and brand are no longer associated with the assault rifle that has been used in mass shootings, which I do not condone in any way or form,” Richardson wrote on social media.
Following the May shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Matthew McConaughey spoke at a White House press briefing, calling for “real change” on gun violence. McConaughey and his wife, Camila Alves McConaughey, emotionally presented a pair of green Converse shoes belonging to one of the victims, 10-year-old Maite Rodriguez.
“This is the same green Converse, on her feet, that turned out to be the only clear evidence that could identify her after the shooting,” he said, before slamming his hand down on the White House podium.
Republicans and Democrats, McConaughey said, need to see “beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life-preservation problem on our hands.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.