Like a Prayer is the fourth studio album by American singer-songwriter Madonna, released on March 21, 1989 by Sire Records. The RIAA certified it Gold, Platinum & Double Platinum on May 23rd 1989 & Quadruple Platinum on July 16th 1997, recognizing four million shipments in the U.S. - making it her seventh best-selling album there. Worldwide, it has sold more than eleven million copies.
Before the commercial release of the first single and title track, Pepsi decided to use the song as part of their soft drink commercial featuring Madonna. In addition to this, the company had also struck a deal to sponsor her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. The commercial was aired twice before the release of the music video on MTV. Pepsi had no idea about the controversial content depicted in the video; Madonna witnesses a murder, kisses a black saint, displays stigmata after cutting her palms on a knife, and dances in a field of burning crosses. Religious groups were furious and threatened to boycott Pepsi. They decided the risk was too great, and they canceled their ad campaign and sponsorship deal, although Madonna got to keep the $5 million in her contract.
Due to the high publicity surrounding the controversy, the single soared to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the USA. The album debuted at number eleven, and within three weeks, shot to number one, where it would stay for over a month. Singles "Express Yourself" and "Cherish" both made it to number two. "Oh Father" was her least successful single since 1984, but still became a top twenty hit, peaking at number twenty. "Keep It Together" reached number eight on the charts, and "Dear Jessie" was also a hit single in Europe, and had an animated video.
|01||"Like a Prayer"||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||5:39|
|02||"Express Yourself"||Madonna, Stephen Bray||Madonna and Stephen Bray||4:37|
|03||"Love Song" (duet with Prince)||Madonna, Prince Rogers Nelson||Madonna and Prince||4:52|
|04||"Till Death Do Us Part"||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||5:16|
|05||"Promise to Try"||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||3:36|
|06||"Cherish"||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||5:03|
|07||"Dear Jessie"||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||4:20|
|08||"Oh Father"||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||4:57|
|09||"Keep It Together"||Madonna, Stephen Bray||Madonna and Stephen Bray||5:03|
|10||"Spanish Eyes"1||Madonna, Patrick Leonard||Madonna and Patrick Leonard||5:15|
|11||"Act of Contrition"||Madonna||Madonna and Prince ("The Powers that Be")||2:19|
|01||"Like a Prayer"||February 1989|
|02||"Express Yourself"||May 1989|
|04||"Oh Father"||October 1989|
|05||"Dear Jessie"||December 1989 (Europe/Australia)|
|06||"Keep It Together"||January 1990 (Nth. America/Japan/Australia)|
|Country||Peak position||Certification (if any)||Sales/shipments|
|United Kingdom||1||4x Platinum||1,200,000+|
|United States||1||4x Platinum||4,200,000+|