The Episode: This song is featured in the Glee episode 1.15 - 'The Power of Madonna'. Sue Sylvester has the Cheerios emulate Madonna, so that they will be more empowered in their cheerleading routines. Continuing her blackmail of Principal Figginsfrom the previous episode, Sue has Madonna tracks played over the school intercom throughout the day. Glee club director Will Schuester overhears the girls in the club discussing difficulties they are having in relationships and life. Rachel asks the other girls for advice on a boy pressuring her to have sex, while Tina tells them that Artie has asked her to start wearing more revealing clothes if she wants to be with him. When Will observes the Cheerios performing a routine with stilts to "Ray of Light", he is inspired to set a Madonna-themed assignment to restore the girls to equal status. The male club members, with the except of Kurt, are unimpressed. Kurt & Mercedes are also less than impressed with the fact that whilst they are both strong singers, Rachel is getting all the solos. As Mercedes points out, she usually sings right at the end to 'wail on the end notes'.
The episode ends with Finn welcoming Jesse into New Directions and letting him and Rachel know he won't interfere in their relationship, despite the fact that the two still have feelings for one another. The entire glee club sings "Like a Prayer" backed by a gospel choir, with Kurt and Mercedes each having a solo in the song.
The Song: "Like a Prayer" is the first single by American singer-songwriter Madonna from her 4th studio album, Like a Prayer. It was released on February 27, 1989 by Sire Records. A power pop song by Madonna, it notably features a gospel choir. Like a Prayer became one of Madonna's highest selling singles, despite or more likely, because of it's highly controversial music video.
The 'Glee Cast' cover of this song was released on the soundtrack album Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna. This version reached #28 in Australia, #27 in Canada, #2 in Ireland, and #16 in the UK. In the United States, the song debuted at #27 with digital sales of 87,000.