WASHINGTON — Pat Benatar's 2022 tour revisits hit 80s singles like "We Belong" and "Heartbreaker," but one particular song is missing from the setlist.
The Grammy-award winning singer spoke to USA Today on Thursday about her refusal to play "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" out of respect for families impacted by gun violence.
“I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t,” Benatar said in the interview.
The hit song released in 1980 became the singer's first Top 10 hit on the Billboard 100 chart.
After a string of high-profile shootings in recent months, Americans have pressured legislators to take action on gun control. In 2022, there have been 357 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a website tracking gun-related violence in America.
In May, a gunman opened fire and killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, resulting in one of the deadliest school shootings in America.
The 69-year-old singer, who will be touring through September, said fans tend to get upset whenever she doesn't play "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." She explained that refusing to play the song is her way of protesting.
"(The title) is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line," she told USA Today.
The singer also spoke on the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, dissolving the constitutional right to an abortion.
"I'm worried, like all of us, about fundamental autonomy rights," she said.
On the heels of closing her tour later this year, the singer will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in November. She along with Eminem, Dolly Parton and others will be inducted.
Benatar is also part of a four-part docuseries called "“Women Who Rock” on Epix, which explores the birth of rock 'n' roll and women who weren't taken seriously in the genre.
She is on tour with her husband Neil Giraldo, who is also a musician. The couple married in 1982 and have two daughters.