Madonna Celebrates 30 Years Since the Music Video for 'Like a Prayer' Was Released

The singer marked the 30th anniversary of her controversial hit song's music video on social media Monday

Madonna is looking back on her “Like a Prayer” music video with very fond memories.

Despite causing a stir in 1989 after she released the controversial music video for her hit song, the iconic pop star celebrated its milestone anniversary on Monday and reminisced on all the uproar it caused at the time.

“30 years of Controversy………………30 years of Like A Prayer! 🙏🏼 #happybirthday #likeaprayer” she captioned a clip from a television news segment that reported on her controversial music video.

In a separate post, featuring a clip from the actual video, Madonna, 60, wrote, “30 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!”

“I also made a commercial with PEPSI that was banned because my video was seen as inappropriate. 🔥🔥🔥Happy Birthday to Me and Controversy! #likeaprayer 🙏🏼” she said, before adding that the celebration wouldn’t be complete without some current-day controversy.

“Meant to post this yesterday but was blocked! 😂 what a shocker!” she explained of the irony.

In January 1989, the pop provocateur inked a $5 million endorsement deal with Pepsi. On March 2, 1989, Madonna debuted “Like a Prayer,” the title track of her fourth studio album, in a two-minute television commercial called “Make a Wish.”

The flashback-fueled spot saw her watching a black-and-white home movie of her 8th birthday, and interspersed footage of the young girl with shots of adult Madonna dancing in the street and in a church with a gospel choir.

The fairly innocuous ad aired during NBC’s The Cosby Show, and it seemed unlikely to offend anyone. But when Madonna premiered the actual music video for “Like a Prayer” on MTV the following day, viewers were singing a different tune.

The video’s imagery, which included burning crosses, stigmata and the seduction of a saint who was black, drew the ire of religious groups and customers, who assumed it was part of the soft-drink brand’s ad.

“When you’ve got an ad that confuses people or concerns people, it just makes sense that that ad goes away,” Tod MacKenzie, a spokesman for Pepsico Inc., told the New York Times in 1989.

And go away, it did. Though the commercial was canceled, “Like a Prayer” spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that spring, and Madonna reportedly kept the $5 million fee.

The once-incendiary hit eventually went on to become one of the most celebrated songs in Madonna’s canon.

Madonna Like A Prayer
Madonna in “Like A Prayer”.

In addition to not caring about what people think when it comes to her musical expression, Madonna also recently proved that she’s not bothered by their thoughts on her physical appearance either.

After shocking fans with a surprise performance at New York City’s famed Stonewall Inn on New Year’s Eve, the internet got buzzing about her amazing show — and her backside.

Showgoers posted a series of videos from her performance (which included “Like a Prayer” and a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love”).

But it was not her performance that had many people talking but rather what fans claimed was her fuller derrière, with many speculating the pop star had undergone bottom enhancement surgery or was possibly wearing padding on stage.

The Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between, Arrivals, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA - 01 May 2017
Marion Curtis/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

The superstar eventually took to Instagram to squash the rear end discussion. “Desperately Seeking No Ones Approval………………😂,” the singer wrote, referencing the title of her 1985 film, Desperately Seeking Susan.

“And Entitled to Free Agency Over My Body Like Everyone Else!! Thank you 2019 🎉🎉🎉! Its Going to Be an amazing Year!! 🔥🔥🔥! #2019 #freedom #respect #nofearthis #nodiscrimination” she added.

Madonna is currently working on her upcoming 14th studio album, reportedly set for release later this year.

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