The Story of… ‘Like a Prayer’ by Madonna

Madonna’s iconic song ‘Like a Prayer’ was released 30 years ago this week, and it remains one of the greatest pop moments ever.

Madonna’s 20 greatest ever songs

But what inspired the song, who wrote it and where was the video filmed? Here’s all the important and fascinating facts:


  1. Who wrote ‘Like a Prayer’?

    Madonna wrote the song with her long-time collaborator Patrick Leonard, and was included on her album of the same name in 1989.

  2. What inspired the song?

    Madonna had not recorded any music throughout 1988, and following the critical and commercial failure of her films Shanghai Surprise and Who’s That Girl and the Broadway production Speed-the-Plow, she was in a creative crossroads.

    Her marriage to actor Sean Penn ended, and she had also turned 30, the age at which her mother had died.

    She said in the March 1989 issue of Rolling Stone that her Catholic upbringing gave her a feeling of guilt all the time: “Once you’re a Catholic, you’re always a Catholic — in terms of your feelings of guilt and remorse and whether you’ve sinned or not.

    “Sometimes I’m wracked with guilt when I needn’t be, and that, to me, is left over from my Catholic upbringing. Because in Catholicism you are born a sinner and you are a sinner all of your life. No matter how you try to get away from it, the sin is within you all the time.”

    She was also aware that her fanbase was growing up, and felt the need to record something totally different. She wanted her next album to dictate what could be popular in the music world going forward.

    Madonna wanted to write about personal matters on her mind at the time, and for ‘Like a Prayer’, she chose topics she had never shared with the general public. She looked into her personal journals and diaries, and later recalled:

    “What was it I wanted to say? I wanted the album to speak to things on my mind. It was a complex time in my life.”

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A New Madonna Music Video Has Sparked Serious Drag Industry Drama

Great news, pop music fans: A new Madonna music video is on the way.

We’ve known for a while now that new music from Madonna is on the way, with a new album slated for this year. Back in November, the pop icon was in the “final mixes” stage of wrapping up the album, which means a new album — or at the very least a new single — is likely to drop soon.

We also know that some familiar faces to the LGBTQ community — in the form of RuPaul’s Drag Racecompetitors — will be appearing in a new Madonna music video. The reason we know that, interestingly enough, is due to some drama made public over the weekend, involving a company that books and manages touring drag queen shows.

The public first caught wind of the rift with an Instagram post by Murray & Peter Present, a company that is currently touring the show Haters Roast: The Shady Tour 2019 — featuring a slew of popular Drag Race queens — around the United States and Canada through the end of March.

The post, referencing the new Madonna music video and presented as “breaking news,” went as follows:

Yesterday @monetxchange arrived in Denver to appear on our show. Sometime during the afternoon, we’re told she received a phone call from @madonna with an offer to be in an upcoming music video. Monet asked MP if it would be ok to leave the tour to accept the offer. We said no because it was too short notice to replace her on Haters. Just hours before the show was to start and without telling anyone including the other queens on the Denver show, Monet left the venue and flew to LA to accept Madonna’s offer. Therefore, we have decided that Monet will no longer be on any upcoming Haters Roast dates. Tour info at #mppresent #apologies#disappointed

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Like a Prayer celebrates its 30th anniversary!

Can you believe that the incredibly legendary song that is ‘Like a Prayer’ was released 30 years ago today? One of Madonna’s greatest hits, one of her ‘signature songs’, a song that could be released today! To read a whole lot on Like a Prayer, you should visit our Album Promo page that includes tons of original magazine and newspaper scans, video material and a whole lot of memorabilia.

Also check out the single discography HERE

In the meantime check out this original rare promotional brochure sent out by the record company (Warner Music) to record shops in The Netherlands to inform about upcoming releases. 

Text translated:

What can we say about this? A definite number one hit! Probably a matter of weeks. The LP will probably be released on March 21. With a minimum of six singles with absolute top 10 hit potention, we will inform you more asap.

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Madonna and the Dutch Pepsi campaign (with withdrawn promo set)


After Warner Music NL sent out a press release regarding the upcoming Pepsi campaign starring Madonna and her brand new single ‘Like a Prayer’, Vrumona released a promotional kit to promote the same campaign.

This incredibly rare material is extremely hard to find, we will try and tell you a little bit more about it.

Vrumona created a promotional ad, promotional poster AND a promotional CD case meant to store your Like a Prayer CD single in it (3″ CD single with tray). This kit was (from what we’ve heard) sent out to Dutch record stores in order to promote the campaign and new material by Madonna. We have also heard that record stores put the Pepsi CD case in between the other Madonna CD’s so that every visitor checking out her music saw the promo about the upcoming campaign. 

Needless to say after the commercial aired and the campaign was cancelled by Pepsi, Vrumona recalled all the promo stuff and it was destroyed. However, as usual a few ‘survived’ and are floating around on the collector’s market. 

To check out full scans of the CD single check out our Like a Prayer discography.

Fully translated from the inner of the Pepsi promo insert:

Pepsi chooses youth and her music.

For 1989 Pepsi succeeded in collaborating with dynamic world star Madonna.

What will Pepsi do for Madonna?

March 2 will be the worldwide premiere date of her new single ‘Like a Prayer’ in a 2 minute Pepsi-commercial (STER blok 17.20, Nederland 1)

What will Madonna do for Pepsi?

She will be leading a large Pepsi campaign this year, which includes:

going on a world tour for Pepsi

Appearing in Pepsi commercials

Appear on Pepsi posters

Being the subject of many promotional activities

What will Madonna do for you?

You will soon hear more from her, but in the meantime keep this CD case.

Pepsi-Cola International / Vrumona B.V.


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Madonna Recruits RuPaul’s Drag Race Queens For New Music Video

Madonna has recruited some former stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race to appear in her upcoming music video.

The Queen of Pop is currently gearing up for her return to the music scene, with the lead single from her upcoming 14th studio album, which is believed to be called Magic, tipped for release in the coming weeks.

Earlier this week, Madonna revealed on Instagram that she was shooting the song’s music video, and it sounds as though she may have some surprise Drag Race cameos.

Among them will be the most recent winner of All Stars 4, Monét X Change, who is reported to have accepted a last-minute offer from Madonna, forcing her to miss a show in Denver.

As a result, Monét has been pulled from the Haters Roast US tour, with a statement from organisers saying: “Sometime during the afternoon, we’re told [Monét] received a phone call from Madonna with an offer to be in an upcoming music video. Monét asked [organisers Murray & Peter] if it would be ok to leave the tour to accept the offer. We said no because it was too short notice to replace her on Haters.

“Just hours before the show was to start and without telling anyone including the other queens on the Denver show, Monet left the venue and flew to LA to accept Madonna’s offer. Therefore, we have decided that Monet will no longer be on any upcoming Haters Roast dates.”

Read full article at Huffington Post

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Maluma working with Madonna

Complex spoke to Maluma about his latest single, the 11:11 album, as well as his recent collaboration with Madonna. Check out that part of the Q&A below.

You recently posted some photos of you and Madonna in the studio. How did that collaboration come about?
It all started when I performed at the [2018] VMAs. She was there in the crowd, and my manager told me Madonna wanted to meet me.

We then met again in Los Angeles last week. She was in the studio working with different composers, producers. Everything was organic and we started making music. We were cooking some ideas, that’s all I can say. We were cooking some beautiful songs.

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Record Store Day 2019: Madonna revealed and confirmed

The full list of special releases coming to UK record shops as part of Record Store Day 2019 has been revealed.

545 limited edition products ranging from live LPs, boxsets, albums never-before-released-on-vinyl, movie soundtracks, remix EPs, and unreleased rarities will be available across 7″, 10″, 12″, picture disc, coloured vinyl and flexidisc (!) formats.

Over 250 stores are taking part this year, the highest number in the event’s history. DJ sets, in-store performances and mini festivals are planned in several record shops across the country for the big day on Saturday, April 13.

Iconic stars and Record Store Day regulars like Prince, Madonna and David Bowie and Madonna feature once again in this year’s listings line-up, with Bowie being the most purchased artist in Record Store Day history. More legendary musicians such as Elvis Presley, Queen, Peter Gabriel, Aretha Franklin, Def Leppard and Elton John are also putting out limited edition releases.

Madonna True Blue (Super Club Mix) 12″ 6 track EP (BLUE COLOUR VINYL) “Replica of Japanese pressing of Madonna’s “”True Blue Super Club Mix”” , with obi strip. On Blue Colour Vinyl. Tracklisting: A1 True Blue (The Color Mix) A2 Everybody (Dub Version) B1 Papa Don’t Preach (Extended Remix) B2 Everybody (Extended Version) B3 Live To Tell (Instrumental)”
Madonna La Isla Bonita (Super Mix) 12″ 6 track EP (GREEN COLOUR VINYL) “Replica of the Japan-only EP release of “La Isla Bonita: Super Mix EP”, originally released on May 1987 by Warner-Pioneer Japan. Includes “La Isla Bonita” (Extended remix), “Open Your Heart” (Extended Version), “Gambler”, “Crazy for You” and “La Isla Bonita” (Instrumental). This version appears on green colour vinyl.”

Read more at Official Charts

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51st Mega Record & Cd Fair April 13 & 14, 2019

Only 6 weeks to go before the 51st Mega Record & Cd Fair will take place at Jaarbeurs Utrecht on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th of April. Last November the Financial Times (UK) labelled this fair ‘The largest Vinyl Convention on Earth’. At this fair cratediggers, vinyl lovers, musicians and over 500 dealers from all over the globe come together to buy records, attend book presentations, watch live performances by Sweet Hannah and the Heck and visit exhibitions in the field of music. This spring, the fair will show a major reggae exhibition curated by Aad Brakus.

Buy your tickets in advance online and save money & time not standing in the queue. Look for all information and the dealers list on our website or join us on Facebook and Instagram.

We are looking forward to meet you all at the unbeatable Mega Record & CD Fair in Utrecht!

Dates 2019

  • The 51st Mega Record & CD Fair | April 13 & 14, 2019
  • Record & CD fair Hoorn | July 24, 2019
  • Record & CD fair RAI Amsterdam | September 21, 2019
  • The 52nd Mega Record & CD Fair | November 16 & 17, 2019

Amsterdam Record Convention, The Netherlands. 

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Director Guy Guido talks about ‘Madonna and the Breakfast Club’

Acclaimed writer and director Guy Guido chatted with Digital Journal about the new Madonna docudrama “Madonna and The Breakfast Club.”

This docudrama explores her days as a drummer, guitarist, keyboard player and songwriter in the Breakfast Club, a band she formed with Dan Gilroy, who she dated in the late ’70s. The film will be released across digital and on-demand platforms on March 12 via The Orchard.

“As a teen fan of Madonna back in the ’80s I had read a couple of her early biographies which touched on the Breakfast Club band and her time with them,” he said. “Although I always felt that there was more to that story and that this topic was usually just skimmed over.”

On the most surprising aspects that we may learn from the film he said, “For most people, the most surprising thing will be the diligence and life or death determination she had at roughly 20 years old. You don’t see that often, especially today. There also had been a mainstream misconception that Madonna was a talentless girl who used her sexuality to get herself a record deal and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

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Madonna’s new album and the Anitta collaboration

MADONNA still likes to wear risky outfits – and so does her next collaborator.

I can confirm she has teamed up with Brazilian superstar Anitta, most recently seen twerking in nipple tassels, for her comeback album.

Anitta – whose racy outfit features in the video for Bola Rebola, her new track with J Balvin and Tropkillaz – has become one of Latin America’s most in-demand artists.

A music insider said: “Madonna’s new album is heavily influenced by Portugal after she moved there and as one of the hottest Portuguese-speaking acts, Anitta was someone she really wanted to work with. Their song is very contemporary and the  album will show a new side of Madonna. It’s her best since 2005’s Confessions On A Dance Floor.

Madonna  posted a snap of herself with Anitta on Instagram in December  – and  this week shared a post-Oscars  picture with Lady Gaga.

Getting Gaga on the new album would really give   fans something to talk about.

Read more at The Sun

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Go Inside Madonna and Guy Oseary’s Exclusive Oscars After-Party With Photographer JR

The 91st Academy Awards were filled with historic firsts and emotional moments, from Black Panther‘s Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Beachler becoming the first black women to win in their respective categories (Costume Design and Production Design) to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s stirring performance of their award-winning song “Shallow.”

After the event, the biggest names in Hollywood celebrated at “The Party,” entertainment mogul Guy Oseary and Madonna’s famed after-party, where there is a strict ban on social media posts.

TIME partnered at the event with the artist and photographer JR—a 2018 TIME 100 honoree—for an exclusive look at last night’s winners and partygoers.

JR, who says he nearly got thrown out of the party for taking an illicit photo of Michael Jordan and Pharrell the first time he attended, has set up a photo studio at the gathering to take portraits of guests since 2017.

“Cinema has always had a huge influence on me,” JR said. “Last year I was nominated for an Academy Award, and I still spent most of that night creating new images at the very party I was almost kicked out of.

As the sole photographer at the party, JR’s portraits provide a special look at guests like Academy Award winner Lady Gaga, who posed with Madonna and separately, with her fellow winner Mark Ronson, on Hollywood’s biggest night. Other attendees included Aston Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Ibeyi and Swae Lee.

Read more at TIME

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Swept Away Blu-Ray pre-order link (Amazon)

Madonna and Adriano Giannini star in director/screenwriter Guy Ritchie’s contemporary adaptation of Lina Wertmullers’s 1974 romantic comedy “”Swept Away””, a story of love, sex and too much money – all set against the backdrop of a Mediterranean island paradise.

  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Fabulous Films
  • DVD Release Date: 8 April 2019
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B07NRFD3S7

Pre-order HERE

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