Today in Madonna History: March 21, 1989


On March 21 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer album was released. Today marks the 29th Anniversary of this classic album. Do you remember the first time you heard Like A Prayer? Did you have it on cassette, CD or vinyl?

To celebrate this anniversary, we invite you to follow this link and explore the many exciting releases and controversies that came with this epic release:

Today in Madonna History: March 20, 1990


On March 20 1990, the lead single from Madonna’s I’m Breathless album, Vogue, was released.

Vogue was written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone in December 1989.  The song was recorded with the intention of being the b-side to the upcoming (and last single for the Like A Prayer album), Keep It Together (released on January 30 1990).

The finished product was too good to be a single b-side, so it was decided that Vogue would be a stand-alone single on Madonna’s forthcoming album, I’m Breathless (even though the song had nothing to do with Dick Tracy).

Today in Madonna History: December 30, 1989

Dear Jessie CD Single_Cover Dear Jessie CD Single_Back Cover

On December 30 1989, Dear Jessie peaked at number-five on the UK singles chart. The track was released as the fourth single from Like A Prayer in Europe (with the exception of France which instead opted to service the North American/Japanese fourth single, Oh Father) and as the fifth single in Australia.

Dear Jessie was written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard and was inspired by Leonard’s young daughter, Jessie, with whom Madonna had developed a special connection.

The psychedelia-infused reflection on childhood fantasy and innocence was particularly poignant within the context of the Like A Prayer album’s sequencing, with its segue into Oh Father offering a stark musical and emotional contrast that is perhaps one of the most effective in Madonna’s body of work.


Today in Madonna History: December 1, 1963

On December 1 1963, Madonna’s Mother, Madonna Fortin Ciccone died of breast cancer at the age of 30 in Pontiac, Michigan. Madonna was born in Bay City Michigan on July 11 1933 to Willard William Fortin and Elise Mae Fortin.

Madonna Fortin married Silvio Ciccone on July 2 1955 in Bay City, Michigan. Together, Madonna and Silvio had six children: Anthony, Martin, Madonna, Paula, Christopher and Melanie.

These are the lyrics for Promise To Try, written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard for the Like A Prayer album:

Little girl don’t you forget her face
Laughing away your tears
When she was the one who felt all the pain
Little girl never forget her eyes
Keep them alive inside
I promise to try, it’s not the same
Keep your head held high, ride like the wind
Never look behind, life isn’t fair
That’s what you said, so I try not to care
Little girl don’t run away so fast
I think you forgot to kiss, kiss her goodbye
Will she see me cry when I stumble and fall
Does she hear my voice in the night when I call
Wipe away all your tears, it’s gonna be all right
I fought to be so strong, I guess you knew
I was afraid you’d go away, too
Little girl you’ve got to forget the past
And learn to forgive me
I promise to try, but it feels like a lie
Don’t let memory play games with your mind
She’s a faded smile frozen in time
I’m still hanging on, but I’m doing it wrong
Can’t kiss her goodbye, but I promise to try

Today in Madonna History: August 13, 1952

On August 13 1952, one of Madonna’s closest friends, Herb Ritts, was born in Los Angeles, California.

Ritts specialized in black and white photography and music videos, including Madonna’s Cherish music video and the photoshoot for Madonna’s True Blue, Like A Prayer and Immaculate Collection albums (among others — the list just goes on and on).

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Herb was at Madonna’s side taking the most beautiful photos of her possible. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts for capturing Madonna during this time in her life and career.

Today in Madonna History: March 22, 2017

On March 22 2017, The Huffington Post published an article titled, “Why Madonna’s Like A Prayer Is The Most Important Album Ever Made By A Female Artist.”

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

28 years ago this week, Madonna released what is not only her best album to date, but also what could be the most important release ever by a female artist. That’s not to say that Like a Prayer is the best album ever by a female artist, but it’s pretty close. After six years of being considered pop fluff and a disco dolly, Madonna was finally taken seriously by most music critics in 1989. Still, Like a Prayer deserved even more than bewildering critical acclaim.

If Madonna and misogyny weren’t practically synonyms, Like a Prayer would have not only won several Grammys in 1990 (it didn’t even earn any major nominations), but it would be widely praised for its songwriting and production 28 years later. If a man delivered the same type of vocals Madonna did on Like a Prayer, critics would note that his voice isn’t technically perfect, but distinct, melodic, and full of emotion. When it comes to Madonna, who certainly could never hit the notes of Aretha Franklin or Whitney Houston, it’s just easier for people to say that she “can’t sing.”

For people (especially millennials) to understand how important Like a Prayer is to culture and music, they have to comprehend the repressive environment Madonna’s album arrived to in March of 1989. The late 1980s was ruled by the religious right, who believed AIDS was a curse God gave to the gay community. Women who were outspoken or wore revealing clothes were referred to as sluts, whores, bitches, etc. Police brutality among African Americans was still widely accepted without much of a backlash. And interracial dating was still considered a taboo.

The pamphlet on AIDS Madonna included with each copy of Like a Prayer alone proves that the notion of Madonna being a bad role model and having a bad influence on Generation X (especially women and teenagers) just isn’t true. Madonna educated many about AIDS and safe sex at a time when schools, the media, and religious institutions stayed away from the topic. A move like this in 1989 could have hurt a showbiz career, but Madonna survived and thrived by doing the right thing and, possibly, helping to save lives at the same time.

Today in Madonna History: December 16, 1989


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.

%d bloggers like this: