On March 3, 1989, Madonna released the hit song, “Like a Prayer.” And it was a monumental moment unlike no other before it at the time.
After three back-to-back multi-platinum albums, a record-breaking world tour, it seemed like the singer was on top of the world as she readied the release of her fourth album, Like a Prayer, in March of 1989.
That January, ahead of its release, Madonna brokered an endorsement deal with Pepsi for $5 million. The deal included the launch of the album’s title song in a television commercial — an unheard-of arrangement at the time — and the cola brand sponsoring the singer’s next world tour. The following month, Pepsi debuted its highly anticipated commercial during the 31st GRAMMY Awards, with an estimated 250 million reportedly watching the ad worldwide.
A month later, it was time for the unveiling of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” music video, which was scheduled to make its worldwide debut during Entertainment Tonight before being shown in full on MTV. But as Lu Murray, the show’s producer at the time, remembers, the anticipation of the music video was met with immediate shock and awe.
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