This week, rocker Pat Benatar celebrated her 71st birthday.

Pat Benatar in concert circa 1980.

Here’s 20 things you may not have known about the singer…

  1. Pat’s real name is Patricia Mae Andrzejewski.
  2. Pat’s father worked with sheet metal and her mum was a beautician who was also a trained opera vocalist.
  3. Pat sang her first solo as an 8-year-old in primary school. It was a song called “It Must Be Spring.”
  4. In high school, Benatar played Queen Guinevere when her school put on the classic play, Camelot.
  5. Pat planned to study classical music at Juilliard, but decided she didn’t want to and instead went to the State University of New York  to pursue health education.
  6. After a year of college, Pat dropped out to marry her high school sweetheart, Dennis Benatar.
  7. Pat saw Liza Minnelli live and was inspired to quit her job as a bank teller and pursue singing.
  8. Benatar’s first job in music was as a singing waitress at a nightclub called The Roaring Twenties.
  9. The first group Pat was part of was called Coxon’s Army. They were a lounge band that played local basement clubs.
  10. Pat got her break at an amateur night at New York’s Catch a Rising Star comedy club. She sang Judy Garland’s “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and the club owner called her back. He later became her manager.
  11. Benatar spent three years singing at Catch a Rising Star. During a Halloween show in 1977, she wore costume she had on from a contest earlier in the night. She was dressed in spandex as a character from a B movie called Cat-Women of the Moon. She would later wear similar costumes whenever she performed.
  12. In the late 70s, Pat recorded commercial jingles for Pepsi.
  13. In 1978, Benatar headlined at Tramps nightclub, where record company reps spotted her and signed her.
  14. Pat’s video for “Love is a Battlefield” is the first ever to have spoken words in it.
  15. The visual for Pat’s song “You Better Run” was the second video ever shown on MTV. The first was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”.
  16. In 1979, Pat and Dennis divorced. Three years later she married her guitarist, Neil Giraldo, and they’ve still together to this day. They have two daughters.
  17. Benatar is a huge Led Zeppelin fan.
  18. The Fast Times at Ridgemont High character Pat Bernardo is based on Benatar.
  19. Pat won the Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row, from 1980 to 1983.
  20. Pat has six platinum albums.

Happy birthday Pat!