Song: “Like A Prayer” by Madonna
Reached #1: April 22, 1989 (her seventh, 3 weeks)
It’s somehow fitting that Madonna gets a day to herself on this blog – she’s quite the unique talent, personality, and entrepreneur.
“Like A Prayer” was, of course, from Madonna’s Catholic phase – she’s since moved on to the Kabbalah – and was the video that made it clear that she had no problem being controversial in order to sell records and get publicity.
You can imagine the response, if you weren’t there. A song ostensibly based on religion with copious double-entendres riled just about everyone capable of being riled. The Catholic Church wasn’t thrilled. The moral guardians weren’t thrilled. The music critics loved it. The audience bought it in droves. And Pepsi ran screaming from a $5 million ad campaign around “Like A Prayer”, but reportedly never got their money back. Did I mention she was quite the entrepreneur?
Of course, she’s been visible (and controversial) for more than two decades… from Sex to Erotica to Kabbalah to Hard Candy Fitness to Glee to her current album, MDNA, she’s never been far away. And, of course, still walking the edge – there’s already been criticism of MDNA for its (very intentional) similarity to Ecstacy’s clinical name (MDMA).
Love her or not, there’s only one Madonna. No matter how hard Lady Gaga tries.
Tomorrow, a UK band that turned out to be badly misunderstood.
No other songs reached #1 on April 22.