Madonna, “Like a Prayer,” 1989, and “Justify My Love,” 1990

Long before the likes of Doja Cat, Madonna was a trailblazing pop force both when it came to minting hits and courting scandal. Take for example her one-two punch of “Like a Prayer” and “Justify My Love,” the first of which takes place in and around a church and features shots of burning crosses. “Like a Prayer” unleashed a global debate, and even led Pope John Paul II to call for a boycott of her concerts. Meanwhile, the iconic black-and-white video for “Justify My Love” showcases the pop star getting intimate with a group in a hotel room. MTV banned the video, which Madonna said was hypocritical: “Why is it that people are willing to go and watch a movie about someone getting blown to bits for no reason at all, and nobody wants to see two girls kissing and two men snuggling?”

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