In the summer of 1986, Madonna mania was still peaking around the world. Here in America, her most recent album, True Blue, was a resounding smash, peaking at #1. The first single from the record, the ballad, "Live to Tell," followed suit, topping the Hot 100.
When it came to the second single from True Blue, Madonna would turn the heat on full blast with her signature mix of sex and religion. "Papa Don't Preach" was released in June 1986, and immediately generated controversy over the lyrics, which dealt with teen pregnancy. The video, which starred actor Danny Aiello, was huge on MTV.
"That's why I thought it was so great.Is she for 'schma-smortion,' as they say in Knocked Up? Is she against abortion?," Madonna told Rolling Stone in 2009. "It just fit right in with my own personal zeitgeist of standing up to male authorities. whether it's the pope or the Catholic Church or my father and his conservative, patriarchal ways."
The song soared up the charts, peaking at #1 for the week of August 16, 1986. It held the top spot for two weeks in row, eventually toppled by Steve Winwood's "Higher Love."