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Song IconMadonna "Like A Prayer"

About "Like A Prayer"

"Like a Prayer" is a song by American singer Madonna from her 1989 fourth studio album of the same name. Sire Records released it as the album's lead single on March 3, 1989. Written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, the song heralded an artistic and personal approach to songwriting for Madonna, who believed that she needed to cater more to her adult audience. Thematically, "Like a Prayer" speaks about a passionate young girl in love with God, who becomes the only male figure in her life.

"Like a Prayer" is a pop rock song and incorporates gospel music. It features background vocals from a choir and also a rock guitar. The lyrics contain liturgical words, but they have been interpreted by some people to have dual meanings of sexual innuendo and religion. "Like a Prayer" was acclaimed by music critics and was a commercial success worldwide. In the United States, it was Madonna's seventh number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for three consecutive weeks and topped the record charts in many other countries, including Australia, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Rolling Stone listed "Like a Prayer" among "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

The music video for "Like a Prayer", directed by Mary Lambert, portrays Madonna witnessing a young white woman being killed by a group of white men. While a black man is arrested for the murder, Madonna hides in a church for safety, seeking strength to go forth as a witness. The video depicts a church and Catholic symbols such as stigmata. It also features the Ku Klux Klan's burning crosses and a dream about kissing a black saint. The Vatican condemned the video, while family and religious groups protested against its broadcast. They boycotted products by soft drink manufacturer Pepsi, who had used the song in their commercial. The company canceled their sponsorship contract with Madonna, but allowed her to retain the $5 million fee.

"Like a Prayer" has been featured on five of Madonna's concert tours, most recently on the Madame X Tour in 2019–20. It has been covered by numerous artists. The song is noted for the mayhem surrounding the music video and the various interpretations of its content, leading to discussions among music and film scholars. Along with the parent album, the song has been considered a turning point in Madonna's career, with critics starting to acknowledge her as an artist rather than a mere pop star.

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