Madonna had a specific vision for her controversial 1989 music video, Like A Prayer (Picture: Madonna/Youtube)
Madonna’s controversial music video for Like A Prayer was apparently inspired by her desire to ‘f*** a Black guy on the altar’.
In 1989, the Queen of Pop sparked sheer outrage with the Mary Lambert-directed visuals, which saw Madonna kiss a Black saint alongside images of burning crosses and stigmata.
Now, Lambert, 69, has reflected on how the music video came to be, revealing that she personally wanted to ‘explore the correlation between sexual ecstasy and religious ecstasy.’
She also told The Hollywood Reporter that the Black Jesus character in the video came from Madonna ‘telling her she wanted to “f*** a Black guy on the altar”‘.
Lambert recalled telling the Grammy winner: ‘Well, why not have it be a Black Jesus? Let’s just go all the way.’
She added that Madonna ‘liked that’.
Like A Prayer’s director Mary Lambert has discussed the star wanting to ‘f*** a Black guy at the altar’ (Picture: Madonna/Youtube)
Lambert also said that the burning crosses in the music video were to evoke ‘the idea of appropriation, that the Ku Klux Klan could take a cross, which is a holy symbol to a lot of people, and appropriate it in a way to instil fear and horror and promote race hatred. I wanted to turn that on its head.’
The release of the music video came with huge controversies. Two months before the video’s release, Madonna signed a staggering $5 million (£3.8 million) endorsement deal with Pepsi, meaning she was deemed family-friendly enough to front one of the biggest brands in the world.
After the video’s release, the brand quickly distanced itself from Madge and promptly terminated the contract they’d signed just weeks before.
The Vatican also condemned the video with Pope John Paul II asking fans to boycott the star.
Like A Prayer saw Madonna kiss a black saint alongside images of burning crosses and stigmata (Picture: Madonna/ Youtube)
Despite the outrage, Like A Prayer spent three weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was voted MTV’s most groundbreaking music video of all time, proving the song’s weight amongst fans.
When so many musicians play it safe, Like A Prayer perfectly symbolises the fearlessness that pop can and should represent.