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Madonna Celebrates as Pepsi Airs Her Banned ‘Like A Prayer’ Commercial 34 Years Later

Madonna Celebrating Pepsi Releasing Canceled Like A Prayer Commercial 34 Years Later
MadonnaTaylor Hill/FilmMagic

Madonna’s prayers have been answered!

Thirty-four years after a commercial featuring her hit song “Like A Prayer” was banned, the controversial clip finally aired again on Tuesday, September 12, during the MTV Video Music Awards.

The 1989 video was part of a $5 million endorsement deal for the Material Girl. However, the commercial was canceled after one broadcast, and the full-length music video was dropped by MTV due to protests from religious groups over its imagery of burning crosses and the seduction of a saint.

Despite the original two-minute commercial reaching an estimated 250 million viewers in over 40 countries, Pepsi pulled the commercial in April 1989 and canceled its sponsorship contract with Madonna.

Now more than three decades later, Pepsi allowed the commercial to air again to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary.

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“34 years ago I made a commercial with Pepsi to celebrate the release of my song “Like a Prayer,’” Madonna commented on X (formerly known as Twitter) as she posted the clip which first aired at the 31st Grammy Awards in February 1989.

“Like A Prayer” was nominated for Video of the Year at the 1989 MTV VMAs and won Viewer’s Choice.

Madonna Celebrating Pepsi Releasing Canceled Like A Prayer Commercial 34 Years Later 2
Madonna YouTube

“The commercial was immediately canceled when I refused to change any scenes in the video where I was kissing a black saint or burning crosses,” she added. “So began my illustrious career as an artist refusing to compromise my artistic integrity. Thank you @pepsi for finally realizing the genius of our collaboration.”

She closed her post writing, “Artists are here to disturb the peace.”

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The commercial begins with Madonna sitting in a chair and telling the camera, “Go ahead, make a wish.” The footage then switches to her singing and dancing in the street while singing “Like A Prayer,” before the camera switches back to Madonna in the chair watching herself perform on a projector screen with a can of Pepsi in her hand.

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Madonna’s quintuple platinum self-titled debut album in 1983, the new version of the ad ends with the caption, “Celebrating 40 years of disrupting the status quo.”

“Like A Prayer” was Madonna’s seventh No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is the title track of her fourth studio album. The LP also hit the top of the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified quadruple platinum.

The 65-year-old icon is now preparing for her Celebration Tour which kicks off October 14 in London. Following the European leg, which runs through December, the North American dates begin December 13 in New York City. The tour ends April 24, 2024, in Mexico City.

The launch of the tour was delayed and dates were rescheduled after Madonna was hospitalized with a bacterial infection in June.

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