Madonna has been a pop icon for 30 years and this month, her landmark album Like a Prayer turns 25. This album is key in pop music history thanks to the fact it included a handful of her best-selling singles. It also defined a significant moment in history. What perhaps is most interesting about this particular album was what it meant to Madonna. The singer explained in a recent interview, “It was a real coming-of-age record for me emotionally. I was at the end of my marriage and I was working with Pat, who was also in a very dark state of mind, and we worked in a very isolated place n the Valley. I was very lonely when I was working on the record. I had to do a lot of soul-searching and I think it is a reflection of that.”
Like a Prayer spawned a total of six singles, but only three were bonafide hits: Express Yourself, Cherish, and the title track, Like A Prayer. Not surprisingly, it was that very song that had the most meaning to the star. In the same interview, she proclaimed it was a spiritual song and that she even felt spiritually touched by the song. The album was also recorded during a tough period in her life when she separated from her then-husband Sean Penn. Madonna added, “It. was a real coming-of-age record for me emotionally. “I was at the end of my marriage [to actor Sean Penn] and I was working with Pat, who was also in a very dark state of mind, and we worked in a very isolated place in the [San Fernando] Valley. I was very lonely when I was working on the record. I had to do a lot of soul-searching, and I think it is a reflection of that.” Two tracks on the album, State of Matrimony and Till Death Do Us Part, were specifically about Penn.
Even though it has been 25 years since the Madonna landmark album Like A Prayer came out, what people remember most about Like a Prayer is the controversial music video, which featured an interracial couple and religious images. The latter upset church groups which felt the video made a mockery of religion. The video was directed by movie director Mary Lambert, who also directed other Madonna music videos including La Isle Bonita and Material Girl.
Penn was not the only individual who inspired Madonna. Both of her parents gave her plenty of material to work with. The singer claimed the entire album was dedicated to her mother, who tragically passed away when she was a little girl. She admitted Oh Father was about both her father and Penn.
It has been 25 years since the Madonna landmark album Like A Prayer came out, but the multi-talented star appears to keep her focus on other exciting projects. Her next big project will involve directing Ade: A Love Story, a film adapted from the debut novel of Rebecca Walker. Last year, the singer proclaimed her love for the story on social media.
By Anna Peel