On August 11 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself single was certified Gold by the R.I.A.A. for shipment of over 500,000 units in the U.S.
On July 29 1989, Express Yourself peaked at #12 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the USA.
On July 15 1989, Express Yourself peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the U.S.
Express Yourself spent two weeks in the runner-up position, with Simply Red’s If You Don’t Know Me By Now blocking it from the top spot in the first week, and Martika’s lone chart-topper, Toy Soldiers, leapfrogging over it in its second week.
On July 1 1989, Madonna’s Express Yourself enjoyed its second week at #1 on the United World Chart (Tracks).
Like A Prayer spent its sixteenth and final week in the Top 10 on the United World Chart at #10.
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).
On April 2 2005, Madonna was featured in Q magazine as one of the Five Essential Acts in Music, along with The Beatles, Bob Dylan, U2 and The Velvet Underground.
Q magazine listed Like A Prayer as her definitive album:
If you only buy one album….Like A Prayer. Always more interesting when not seeking novelty, Madonna hit artistic and commercial gold with Like A Prayer, her best and least contrived album. The title track, all swirling choruses and kitchen – sink production, remains her major statement, but Express Yourself was ferocious dance, while on the rarely lauded Dear Jessie she had never sounded so human.
Q magazine also listed what they considered to be Madonna’s essential singles:
Holiday, Borderline, Material Girl, Like A Virgin, Crazy For You, Into The Groove, Papa Don’t Preach, La Isla Bonita, Open Your Heart, Live To Tell, Who’s That Girl, Causing A Commotion, Vogue, Justify My Love, Ray Of Light, Frozen, Drowned World/Substitute For Love, Beautiful Stranger, Music, Hollywood.
On September 6 1989, Madonna performed Express Yourself at the 6th annual MTV Video Music Awards at the Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, CA. The Express Yourself music video picked up awards for Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, while Like A Prayer won the Viewer’s Choice Award.
Serving as a sneak preview for 1990’s Blond Ambition Tour, the performance marked the first of many to feature the vocal trio of Madonna, Donna De Lory and Niki Haris. De Lory and Haris had previously toured with Madonna during the 1987 Who’s That Girl Tour, but had been joined by a third background vocalist, Debra Parsons. The pair would be more heavily featured as vocalist/dancers from this point forward, rather than simply band members who rarely left the confines of their microphone stand.
It was during rehearsals for the 1989 VMA performance that Niki Haris brought voguing to Madonna’s attention, and stylized poses were then fittingly incorporated into the performance’s choreography.