Today in Madonna History: June 10, 1989

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On June 10 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself single debuted at #40 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart in the USA.

Express Yourself eventually peaked at #1 for 3 weeks (starting July 8 1989).

Today in Madonna History: May 24, 1989

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On May 24 1989, Madonna participated in the Don’t Bungle The Jungle benefit concert to raise money and awareness for preserving the world’s rainforests.  The event took place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY. Madonna performed a rendition of Sonny & Cher’s I Got You Babe with comedian and friend Sandra Bernhard.

Today in Madonna History: May 23, 1989

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On May 23 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer album was certified double platinum (for sales of 2 million copies) in the USA.

Today in Madonna History: March 19, 1989

On March 19 1989, Madonna was the featured artist in the Arts section of the New York Times in an article and interview by Stephen Holden.

Like a Prayer, said Madonna, “is the song of a passionate young girl so in love with God that it is almost as though He were the male figure in her life. From around 8 to 12 years old, I had the same feelings. I really wanted to be a nun.”

What follows is a description in Madonna’s own words of what happens in the video:

“A girl on the street witnesses an assault on a young woman. Afraid to get involved because she might get hurt, she is frozen in fear. A black man walking down the street also sees the incident and decides to help the woman. But just then, the police arrive and arrest him. As they take him away, she looks up and sees one of the gang members who assaulted the girl. He gives her a look that says she’ll be dead if she tells. The girl runs, not knowing where to go until she sees a church. She goes in and sees a saint in a cage who looks very much like the black man on the street, and says a prayer to help her make the right decision. He seems to be crying, but she is not sure. She lies down on a pew and falls into a dream in which she begins to tumble in space with no one to break her fall. Suddenly she is caught by a woman who represents earth and emotional strength and who tosses her back up and tells her to do the right thing. Still dreaming, she returns to the saint, and her religious and erotic feelings begin to stir. The saint becomes a man. She picks up a knife and cuts her hands. That’s the guilt in Catholicism that if you do something that feels good you will be punished. As the choir sings, she reaches an orgasmic crescendo of sexual fulfillment intertwined with her love of God. She knows that nothing’s going to happen to her if she does what she believes is right. She wakes up, goes to the jail, tells the police the man is innocent, and he is freed. Then everybody takes a bow as if to say we all play a part in this little scenario.”

Today in Madonna History: February 26, 1989

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On February 26 1989, Madonna participated in an AIDS Dance-A-Thon benefit at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

Today in Madonna History: December 25, 1989

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In the December 25, 1989 issue of People magazine, Madonna was named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People In The World.

Madonna and Warren. Madonna and Sean. Madonna and Sandra. Madonna and Pepsi. The Material Girl, the Boy Toy, Papa Don’t Preach, the stigmata debacle, a used bustier that sold at Sotheby’s for $3,750…   So what is it about this 31-year-old woman with a mole on her upper lip that aroused such curiosity, even among, for example, Belgians, who bought 62,656 copies of her Like a Prayer LP this year? Only one person can approach that question with both the authority and seriousness that it deserves, and that person, of course, is Dr. Joyce Brothers. “Madonna is a sexy person for our time,” says Brothers. “She’s independent and on her own two feet. Women like her because they don’t feel she’s a victim. Men like her because she’s sexy, but not straight out, like in Penthouse. She is childlike and innocent but at the same time naughty. Madonna,” concludes the good doctor, “is walking that line very successfully.”   Thank you, Dr. Brothers. And thank you, Madonna Louise Ciccone.

Today in Madonna History: December 16, 1989

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On December 16 1989, Dear Jessie debuted at #9 on the UK Singles Chart.

The single would climb to its peak position of #5 on December 30th, where it remained for three weeks before beginning its descent.

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