"Cherish" is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released as the third single from her fourth studio album Like a Prayer on August 1, 1989, by Sire Records. The song was also included on the 1990 compilation album The Immaculate Collection and the two-disc edition of her 2009 compilation titled Celebration. Written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, "Cherish" was built around the themes of love and relationship, with William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet being one of the major inspirations. The track also included a line from the similar titled song by the 1960s band The Association. Musically constructed as a doo-wop style pop song, "Cherish" is a light-hearted song, that features instrumentation from drum machine, percussions, keyboards and a saxophone. Lyrically it is a simple love song, talking about Madonna's devotion and having her lover by her side, whom she would never leave.
After its release, "Cherish" received positive feedback from critics, who were surprised by the change of content and the lighter image of Madonna's music, unlike her previous singles from Like a Prayer. Comparisons to Juliet also ensued in Madonna's delivery of the lines and her "passionate" vocals. "Cherish" was also a commercial success, reaching the top-ten of the charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom and the combined European chart. On the Billboard Hot 100, "Cherish" became Madonna's sixteenth consecutive top-five single, a record in the Hot 100 history.
A black-and-white music video of the song was directed by photographer Herb Ritts at the Paradise Cove Beach in Malibu, California. In the video, Madonna played herself, while three co-actors were dressed as Mermen, swimming in and out of the sea. Academics noted how in the video, the Mermen became symbols for the homosexual community and the oppression faced by them. Madonna performed "Cherish" on her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour, where the performance further included her dancers dressed up as Mermen. The performance was described as de-sexualizing men, relegating them as objects of desire only.