UPDATED 4\/6\/2021 There was no question that Patricia Mae Andrzejewski was going to pursue her dream of a life in music. Well, after four Grammy Awards, a dozen albums, nearly four times as many singles, and decades of touring, one would have to say that Patricia \u2014 more popularly known as Pat Benatar \u2014 had fulfilled that dream and then some. \u201cI didn\u2019t set out to be a solo artist,\u201d she writes in her autobiography, Between a Heart and a Rock Place. \u201cMy dream was to be the singer in a rockin\u2019 band, like Robert Plant was to Led Zeppelin or Lou Gramm to Foreigner. I wanted a partnership, like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had \u2014 an unrelenting back-and-forth between talented musicians. The sound I heard in my head was raucous, with hard-driving guitars speeding everything forward. I was a classically trained singer with a great deal of musical knowledge, but I had no idea how to make that visceral, intense sound happen. I had to evolve.\u201d RELATED: 7 Fascinating Things You Probably Never Knew About '80s Pop Star Pat Benatar (YouTube) Benatar also had to believe in her own dream. In a discussion with Ernie Manouse of InnerVIEWS, she explains that while she was studying so that she could go to Julliard, she began to panic. \u201cJust because everyone says I\u2019m a really great singer for a kid and all that, why would that translate into the big pond?\u201d she asks rhetorically. \u201cSo I think at that point I thought I would be more practical and would go to college and teach school. Which is ridiculous. My kids go, \u2018Mom, you would be the worst teacher.\u2019 I have no patience whatsoever. But in there and it\u2019s like breathing. I can\u2019t imagine not doing it ever.\u201d Self-Confidence PAT BENATAR, portrait c. 1982 One point she made in the interview is that the doubts she expressed had nothing to do with insecurity. \u201cIt was never, \u2018Oh, I don\u2019t think I\u2019m good enough,\u2019\u201d she laughs. \u201cI thought I was absolutely good enough. I just thought the probability of it happening was just numerically ridiculous. It just didn\u2019t make any sense that out of all the people that were trying \u2014 and there were so many people that were really great \u2014 the question is, \u2018Why?\u2019 \u2026 It\u2019s not being immodest. It\u2019s just that I\u2019m an implementer. That\u2019s my real gift that I have. It\u2019s not so much that I think I have great talent, but I really know how to put one foot in front of the other.\u201d (Chrysalis) Doing so began on January 10, 1953, when she was born in Brooklyn, New York to a mother and father who were, respectively, a beautician and a sheet-metal worker. The family would move to Lindenhurst, New York (located in Suffolk County on Long Island). At the age of eight, having discovered a passion for theater and music, she began taking voice lessons and performed her first solo at Daniel Street Elementary School. Needless to say, she was hooked. Musical theater became an important part of her time at Lindenhurst Senior High School, one notable credit being as Queen Guinevere in the school production of the musical Camelot. Bank Teller by Day, Singer by Night Fort Lauderdale, FL: Pat Benatar performing at Revolution; Digital Photo by JR Davis-PHOTOlink.net As noted above, she was thinking of attending Juilliard, but ultimately decided to study health education at Stony Brook University. Not surprisingly, that didn\u2019t take. She dropped out and married high school boyfriend Dennis Benatar, who was part of the U.S. Army. In 1973 they ended up in Virginia, where Benatar spent her days working as a bank teller. She\u2019d quit that job, though, so that she could spend her time in pursuit of a singing career and found a gig with a lounge band named Coxon\u2019s Army. Things really started to heat up for them, when Pat, whose marriage to Dennis would end in divorce at the end of the decade, decided in 1975 that she wanted to head to New York to improve her odds. Fort Lauderdale, FL: Pat Benatar performing at Revolution; Digital Photo by JR Davis-PHOTOlink.net She actually continues the story on her official website, nothing that one night in 1975 she \u201cdecided to try open mic night at Catch a Rising Star. She was 27th in line to go on and didn\u2019t hit the stage until 2:00 a.m. Benatar\u2019s rendition of Judy Garland\u2019s \u2018Rock a Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody\u2019 sent the crowd reeling. Hearing the room explode, the owner of the club, Rick Newman, rushed in to see who could possibly be commanding such a response from the room. He watched the rest of the performance, and when the band was finished, Newman approached Benatar and demanded, \u2018Who are you?\u2019 Thus began their relationship as manager and artist; a working relationship which would continue for nearly 15 years.\u201d Lady in Spandex Pat Benatar, portrait c. 1983 As if she didn\u2019t have enough going on, in 1976 Benatar also did some acting, playing the role of Zephyr in Harry Chapin\u2019s futuristic off-Broadway rock musical The Zinger. Flash forward to Halloween 1977 when she\u2019d dressed up as a character from the sci-fi cult flick Cat Women of the Moon and went with some friends to Caf\u00e9 Figaro in Greenwich Village. She decided to enter the club\u2019s costume contest and won. Then the group stopped by Catch a Rising Star, where she ended up performing in part of the costume \u2014 which garnered a standing ovation. Coming to the realization that Pat Benatar wearing spandex was a winning combination, she did the same thing again the following night and received a similar reaction. \u201cAs the nights went by,\u201d the site continues, \u201cthe outfits were tweaked a bit, the spandex was modified and the signature look that everyone came to know was born.\u201d (Chrysalis) Things continued to progress in 1978 when she was not only performing but recording jingles for Pepsi Cola as well. Then, headlining at New York City\u2019s Tramps nightclub, she was seen and signed to a recording contract by Terry Ellis of Chrysalis records. Producer and writer Mike Chapman introduced her to up and coming guitarist Neil Giraldo and they ended up working together perfectly. First as musicians and then as husband and wife, the two of them ultimately getting married in 1982 and still together to this day, the parents of two children. A Quick Discography PAT BENATAR PERFORMING ON "GOOD MORNING AMERICA'S: 2003 SUMMER CONCERT SERIES" AT BRYANT PARK IN NEW YORK CITY 7\/11\/2003; PHOTO BY:HENRY MCGEE\/GLOBE PHOTOS, INC Benatar\u2019s first album \u2014 In the Heat of the Night \u2014 was recorded and released, paving the way for followups Crimes of Passion (1980), Precious Time (1981), Get Nervous (1982), Live from Earth (1983), Tropico (1984), Seven the Hard Way (1985), Wide Awake in Dreamland (1988), True Love (1991), Gravity\u2019s Rainbow (1993), Innamorata (1997) and Go (2003). From those albums came hit singles like \u201cHeartbreaker,\u201d \u201cHit Me with Your Best Shot,\u201d \u201cFire and Ice,\u201d \u201cShadows of the Night,\u201d \u201cLove is a Battlefield,\u201d \u201cWe Belong,\u201d \u201cInvincible,\u201d \u201cSex as a Weapon\u201d and others, most recently 2017\u2019s \u201cDancing Through the Wreckage.\u201d (Chrysalis) In between, there was a hell of a lot of tours. Her first one took place between 1979 and 1980 to promote In the Heat of the Night and Crimes of Passion, and they continued pretty steadily through the 1980s and 1990s. Oftentimes Benatar and company appeared with other artists like Hall and Oates, \u00a0Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, the Steve Miller Band, Loverboy, Journey, Cher, Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick, John Waite, and Melissa Etheridge. In 2019 she went on the road with the 40th Anniversary Tour \u2014 all those years later and still rocking. Timing is Everything Pat Benatar at the VH1 Divas Duets concert held in The Grand Theatre at the MGM Grand.(NV); Photo by: Tom Lau\/Loud & Clear Media\/STAR MAX Inc. As far as Benatar is concerned, her success was in no small way due to the timing of her arrival on the scene. \u201cYou have to remember where the country was at this point,\u201d she stated to InnerVIEWS. \u201cThis was 1978, \u201979, 1980. The women\u2019s movement was in full force. We were the daughters. We were the first generation of young women who grew up indoctrinated. Now we were adult women. We were going to put this into practice. This was not on paper anymore. In my house, where I grew up, my father worked two jobs, sometimes three jobs. When he came home from work, he ate his supper, we watched a little TV together, we did our prayers. That was it. The man worked. He didn\u2019t do a lot of stuff around the house. All I ever remember is my mother and grandmother painting the house, rolling along, doing all that kind of stuff. Pat Benatar, portrait, c. 1985 \u201cSo in my world,\u201d she adds, \u201cthere was no way that women were not the same as far as I was concerned. And possibly superior as far as I was concerned. So that\u2019s how I went into the world. I remember the first couple of times when people looked at me like I had two heads when I told them what I wanted to do. They would say things like, \u2018Women can\u2019t sell out Madison Square Garden and can\u2019t be on the road.\u2019 \u2026 It never occurred to me that it couldn\u2019t be done, which was great, because I was so na\u00efve \u2014 when you\u2019re blind, you have no fear.\u201d Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo at "FOX & FRIENDS" All American Concert Series. (NYC); Photo by: Dennis Van Tine\/starmaxinc.com Now, a little over 40 years from the time she began pursuing the dream, she can look back at a lifetime of both success and failures, with two great kids and a rock and roll marriage that has stood the test of time like few have. And she remains philosophical about it all. (YouTube) \u201cI\u2019ve nothing left to prove, which is probably the most liberating feeling in the world,\u201d Benatar writes in her memoir. \u201cI\u2019m not holding on for dear life, trying to recapture some fleeting movement that\u2019s long since evaporated \u2026 I have been a singer, a lover, a businesswoman, a daughter, a friend, a wife, a mother, and, yes, sometimes even a rock star. In my journey, I tried my best to honor all of these things. In the end, I suppose that\u2019s all that\u2019s really required \u2026 I am exactly where I want to be.\u201d Life, like love, can be a battlefield, but Pat Benatar stands victorious. At age 68, we're hoping to see more of her soon. We last saw her in 2019 for her '40th Anniversary Tour.' This story may contain affiliate links from which we may earn a small commission.