Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna is the debut extended play (EP) by the cast of the musical television series Glee. It contains eight songs from the season oneGlee episode, "The Power of Madonna", which was a tribute episode dedicated to American recording artist Madonna. She had sold the rights to her entire catalog of music to Glee in 2009, and producers of the show developed the episode called "The Power of Madonna"; the show featured a number of cover versions of Madonna's songs by the cast. The accompanying EP released with the airing of the show was called Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna.
After its release, it received generally positive reviews from the critics, who frequently cited Glee's cover version of Madonna's "Like a Prayer" as a stand-out track from the album. The EP debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with 98,000 copies in the first week in the United States, the highest debut for a Glee soundtrack. It also reached the top of the chart in Canada, and the top ten in Australia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The release of the EP saw an increase in the catalog sales of Madonna's albums too. All songs from The Power of Madonna were released as singles with the exception of "Burning Up". "Like a Prayer" charted highest in all regions, reaching number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and selling 87,000 digital downloads there.
In 2009, Madonna granted Glee the rights to her entire catalogue of music, and the producers planned an episode which would feature Madonna songs exclusively. Series creator Ryan Murphy had worked with Madonna in the past, and wished to produce a Glee tribute to her. Madonna agreed and "cooperated in every way possible", for the episode "The Power of Madonna". The episode featured the show's fictional glee club director Will Schuester, portrayed by actor Matthew Morrison, assigning the students in the club to sing Madonna songs because the girls were being subjected to sexist treatment by the boys; he hoped the entire glee club would learn from the messages of girl-power and equality in such Madonna songs as "Express Yourself".
The album has received generally positive reviews from critics. Fraser McAlpine of the BBC wrote: "At its best, it's a loving homage; at worst it's like the re-made pop music retailers play in shops to avoid paying proper royalties." He felt that: "As they are essentially photocopies of the originals, the songs depend on the context of the show to make sense. So listening to the album on musical merits alone is close to pointless."AllMusic's Andrew Leahey rated the album 3.5/5, writing: "It's a short release, but it also holds its ground against the two albums that preceded it, namely because the material is so compatible with the show itself. Madonna's music has always thrived on drama, and it lends itself well to Glee's theater-pop approach, which tends to bring out the cheese in even the most serious of songs." Nick Levine of Digital Spy rated the EP 4/5, praising the "imaginative reworking" of "What It Feels Like For a Girl", and noting: "if the Glee treatment encourages a few younger pop fans to invest in Madonna's stellar recent hits collection, it can only be viewed as a good thing. And for those in the know, hearing five members of this thoroughly likable cast trilling "Like A Virgin" in harmony is so downright gleeful, well, it's almost like being touched for the very first time."
Sahar Ghosh from Seattle Post-Intelligencer felt that the best songs on the EP were "What It Feels Like for a Girl" and "Like a Prayer", saying that "the lyrics Madonna sang in 2001 [for 'What It Feels Like for a Girl'] still (unfortunately) ring true today, but they acquire a new poignancy as they are sung by the boys in Glee Club. [...] But the best performance of the album is definitely 'Like a Prayer'. The talented voices of the Glee cast, backed by a full choir, masterfully carry the lyrics to greater heights." Mikael Wood from Entertainment Weekly gave it an "A" rating, explaining "Sue hilariously revises the spoken-word bit on 'Vogue', and the Glee guys give a surprisingly tender reading of 'What It Feels Like for a Girl'. Go ahead — open your heart." David Hiltbrand from Star Tribune gave a negative review of the EP saying that "things go downhill as soon as Jane Lynch starts camping up the spoken portion of 'Vogue'. By the time you get to 'Like a Virgin' and '4 Minutes', the songs sound overproduced and melodramatic, more show tune than disco."
In its first week of release in the United States, Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna reached number one on the Billboard 200, with 98,000 copies sold. It became the first album by the Glee cast to debut at the top of the chart, also the first number one album consisting totally of covers of one artist's songs, since the all-ABBAMamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack reigned for a week in August 2008. According to Nielsen SoundScan, 75 percent of the sales were due to digital downloads from online stores. It was also the Top Digital and Top Soundtrack album of the week. The release of the EP also had its impact on Madonna's own catalog. Her Celebration greatest hits album re-entered Billboard 200 at number 86 with sales of 6,000 (up 219%). Her total catalog of albums saw a 44% jump in sales, selling 17,000 that week. Her digital song download tally also got a boost with total tracks sold being 108,000, up 169% compared to the week previous (40,000). Her two biggest-selling songs of the week were "4 Minutes" and "Like a Prayer"—each selling 12,000 with gains of 183% and 267%, respectively.
In Canada, the album debuted at the top of the Canadian Albums Chart, with sales of 23,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan. In Australia, the EP debuted at number 14 on the Australian Albums Chart. After two weeks it reached a peak of number 10, and was present for a total of seven weeks on the chart. In Belgium's Wallonia region and in the Netherlands, the EP charted at the lower strata of the chart. It was more successful in Mexico, where it debuted at number 47 on the Mexican Albums Chart, and reached a peak of 34, the next week, staying on the chart for a total of eight weeks. After its release in United Kingdom, Glee: The Music, The Power of Madonna entered The Official UK Albums Chart at number four. However, it had sharp drops for the next weeks, and was present for a total of eight weeks. In Ireland the EP debuted at number 22 on the Albums Chart, and moved to its peak of number five the next week.
All songs on the EP, apart from the bonus track, were also released as singles, available for digital download. Among the releases, Glee's version of "Like a Prayer" became the highest selling song of the bunch. It sold 87,000 copies of digital downloads to enter the Hot Digital Songs chart at number 10, also charting on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 27. "Like a Prayer" also charted at number 27 on the Canadian Hot 100, and number 28 in Australia. "Like a Prayer" was also successful in the United Kingdom, where it reached number 16 on the UK Singles Chart, and was present for four weeks. Other songs charting there included "4 Minutes", "Like a Virgin" and "Borderline / Open Your Heart" at positions 42, 58 and 66 respectively.