Madonna Marks 30 Years Since “Like a Prayer” Music Video Shocked the World

"Happy Birthday to Me and Controversy!"

It’s been three decades since Madonna caused all sorts of trouble with her music video for “Like a Prayer.” To honor the occasion, the pop music legend took to social media to celebrate and reminisce on the controversy.

“Thirty years ago today I released ’Like a Prayer’ and made a video that caused so much controversy because I kissed a black saint and danced in front of burning crosses!” Madonna captioned her Instagram post with a clip of the iconic video. “I also made a commercial with Pepsi that was banned because my video was seen as inappropriate.”

 

In January of 1989, Madonna landed a $5 million endorsement deal with Pepsi. The singer debuted “Like a Prayer,” the title track of her fourth album, in a two-minute television commercial called “Make a Wish” two months later. The commercial, which first aired during The Cosby Show on NBC, saw Madonna watching a black-and-white home movie of her 8th birthday with interspersed footage of the young girl with shots of adult Madonna dancing in the street and in a church with a gospel choir.
 

The innocent commercial was upstaged the following day when Madonna dropped the actual video for the track on MTV. The burning crosses and kissing of a black saint didn’t go down well with religious groups and consumers who like their pop blasphemous-free.
 

The commercial was canned, but “Like a Prayer” catapulted to the top of the charts for three weeks.

If you follow Madge on social media, you know she has been working on some new tunes with “disco god” Mirwais, who produced 2003’s American Life. According to reports, the “Living for Love” singer’s follow-up to 2015’s Rebel Heart will drop this summer with a world tour starting in September.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie and pop diva addict living in Manhattan. Follow him on everything @dirrtykingofpop.
@dirrtykingofpop