Pat Benatar Finally Inducted Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as members of the 2022 performer class.
Sheryl Crow welcomed the two honorees, calling them "totally individual and completely recognizable. How that voice came from her tiny frame was remarkable." She added that the sound Benatar and Giraldo made together was simply "impossible to replicate," calling Benatar a feminist icon. After naming many of their most recognizable songs, Crow added: "I think I can sing every one of those songs."
Benatar thanked everyone who helped their careers along the way, then special family members before turning to Giraldo. "And you, my partner – my love," she said. "Forty three years ago in a rehearsal studio in New York – could you have ever imagined this night, tonight?"
Giraldo made special mention of Rick Derringer, who gave the guitarist a huge early break. "All I wanted was a great singer, and I got an exceptional vocalist," Giraldo added. "And the rest of the story, you know how it goes."
Benatar racked up a string of platinum and multiplatinum albums and Top 20 hits throughout the late '70s and '80s, beginning with her 1979 debut album, In the Heat of the Night. Her sophomore LP, Crimes of Passion, catapulted Benatar to stardom, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, selling 4 million copies and spawning the No. 9-peaking single "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." She continued the hot streak with 1981's Precious Time, which topped the charts and went double platinum.
Despite being eligible for Rock Hall induction for more than two decades (she released her first non-album single in 1974), Benatar held out until she could be inducted with Giraldo, her husband, guitarist and songwriting partner. "I've lobbied for the past 25 years to get him the credit he's due," she told Billboard. "I'm sure we would've both had success separately, but together is what actually made it happen and turned it into what it became.
"There were many, many years when it was tossed around about going in [to the Rock Hall] or not going in," she continued. "I was just kind of adamant about going in together, and it was pretty much a 'no,' and so, 'I guess I'm not going in then,' and that was it. That's how it was for a very long time, so I'm very, very pleased it's going the way it is right now."
Giraldo told Billboard separately that their collaborative partnership was crucial to the duo's success. "From day one, Patricia and I really did this together," he said. "I was in the studio every single second. I know where every single note is buried. The greatness of Patricia is she was so extremely secure that when we met, she just wanted to sing and she was looking for a partner to kind of do the rest, which I loved. I was happy just to do everything I could to write and produce great records. It was a match made in heaven."