On April 4 1989, Pepsi-Cola announced it had banned all future broadcasts of the Madonna/Pepsi-Cola commercial, cancelled her 1-year contract and the sponsorship of what would have been the Like A Prayer World Tour, due to the boycott threats from religious groups against her own Like A Prayer music video.
Here’s a snippet of an article from the New York Times (printed April 5, 1989):
”When you’ve got an ad that confuses people or concerns people, it just makes sense that that ad goes away,” said Tod MacKenzie, a spokesman for Pepsico Inc. He would not say whether Pepsico had canceled its sponsorship of Madonna’s tour.
Pepsico paid Madonna more than $5 million to appear in a two-minute commercial that first appeared on March 2. In it, Madonna traveled back to her 8th birthday.
Jay’s Thought: Had the Like A Prayer World Tour gone forward as planned, Madonna might not have participated in Dick Tracy or released I’m Breathless or Vogue for that matter. How different would the Like A Prayer World Tour set-list have been from Blond Ambition?
On March 19 1989, Madonna’s Like A Prayer stormed on to Australia’s ARIA Singles Chart, entering at #3. It would hit ARIA’s top spot the following week, nudging out The Fine Young Cannibal’s She Drives Me Crazy.
The two songs entered into an extended dance for the pole position, with Crazy reclaiming its spot for two weeks before handing it back again to Prayer. Then back to Crazy. Then Prayer.
Our Aussie mates may be a tad indecisive with their hits–but they sure know how to pick ’em!
On March 16 1995, Madonna’s The Immaculate Collection was certified 6x platinum (6 million units) in the USA.
Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com):
On the surface, the single-disc hits compilation The Immaculate Collection appears to be a definitive retrospective of Madonna’s heyday in the ’80s. After all, it features 17 of Madonna’s greatest hits, from Holiday and Like a Virgin to Like a Prayer and Vogue. However, looks can be deceiving. It’s true that The Immaculate Collection contains the bulk of Madonna’s hits, but there are several big hits that aren’t present, including Angel, Dress You Up, True Blue, Who’s That Girl and Causing a Commotion. The songs that are included are frequently altered. Everything on the collection is remastered in Q-sound, which gives an exaggerated sense of stereo separation that often distorts the original intent of the recordings. Furthermore, several songs are faster than their original versions and some are faded out earlier than either their single or album versions, while others are segued together. In other words, while all the hits are present, they’re simply not in their correct versions. Nevertheless, The Immaculate Collection remains a necessary purchase, because it captures everything Madonna is about and it proves that she was one of the finest singles artists of the ’80s. Until the original single versions are compiled on another album, The Immaculate Collection is the closest thing to a definitive retrospective.
On January 1 2019, Madonna rang in the New Year with a surprise appearance at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn.
A heartfelt speech about the gay rights movement was followed by a sing-along performance of Like A Prayer and a cover of Elvis Presley’s hit, Can’t Help Falling in Love, with her son David Banda providing musical accompaniment on acoustic guitar.
“I stand here proudly at the place where pride began, the legendary Stonewall Inn, on the birth of a New Year. We come together tonight to celebrate fifty years of revolution, fifty years of freedom fighting, fifty years of blood, sweat, and tears. Fifty years of sacrifice, fifty years of standing up to discrimination, hatred, and worst of all, indifference. And it started here, at Stonewall. Let us never forget the Stonewall riots and those who bravely stood up and said ‘enough!’
A half a century later, Stonewall has become a defying moment and a critical turning point in history, catapulting LGBT rights into public conversation and consciousness and awakening gay activism, giving birth to the civil rights movement of the 21st century.
Now you can’t imagine how happy I am to return home, to New York City, my beautiful city, where dreams are born and forged out of fire and brought to life, where I am proud to say that my journey as an artist began, and my commitment to equality for all people took root. As a lifelong ally, I have had the privilege of using my art as a vehicle for change, to provoke, to inspire, to wake people up and to bring the LGBTQ community with me.
There is so much destruction in the world, but you cannot stop art. And creation always wins in the end. So as we move forward, let’s not forget the work that we had to do from the ground up. We must never forget where we’ve been, the challenges and the road blocks along the way. We must never forget where we came from. This movement was born out of the need to survive discrimination and hatred. But why do people hate? Yes – fear of the unknown. But if we look and we truly take the time to get to know one another we will find that we all bleed the same color and we all need to love and be loved. When we stand here together tonight let’s remember who we are fighting for and what we are fighting for. We are fighting for ourselves, yes, we are fighting for each other, yes, but truly and most importantly, what are we fighting for? We are fighting for love! Thank you, people – we are fighting for love!
So let’s take a moment to reflect on how we can bring more love and peace into 2019. In this New Year let’s commit to disarming people with unexpected acts of kindness. Let’s become more intuitive. Share what you know with someone you don’t agree with. Think about that. Try it. Get outside of your comfort zone. Let’s try to be more forgiving. Maybe we can find an opening to let the light come in. Let’s close up the distance between one human being and another.
I walk in the shadow of giants, our freedom fighters who have gone before me. But let’s be giants ourselves! Let’s be giants and carry each other on our shoulders into the New Year and into a future of love and understanding. Are you ready?”