The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

Album: The Gold Experience (1994)
Charted: 1 3
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Songfacts®:

  • "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" is, lyrically, one of the more straightforward Prince songs, with him swooning in superlatives over a girl. The story behind it, though, is rather intriguing.

    In 1994, Prince was at odds with his record company, Warner Bros. His album Come didn't have any songs the label deemed hits, so they didn't release any singles from it and pressured Prince to make some songs that would get him back on the charts. That was not what Prince wanted to hear. He thought it was Warner's job to turn the songs he made into hits, and they weren't doing their job. To prove his point, he asked to release his next single on his own label and handle the promotion himself. Warner Bros. agreed, so Prince set up his own label, NPG, and used it to release "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World." Warner executives had to wipe the egg off their faces to see the song race up the charts worldwide. It went to #3 in America and climbed to #1 in many countries, including Australia and the UK. In 1996, the two sides came to an agreement allowing Prince to leave the label.
  • Prince organized a clever publicity campaign to promote this single. A few months before the song was released, he put ads in magazines with his face in silhouette and the message: "Eligible bachelor seeks the most beautiful girl in the world to spend holidays with."

    It requested that photos be sent to Prince's headquarters, Paisley Park. Some of the women who wrote in were selected to be in the video and appear on the artwork for the single.
  • The song debuted on February 11, 1994 when it played during the Miss USA pageant, broadcast in prime time on CBS. Two days later, Prince showed the video at a concert he played at his Paisley Park compound to celebrate the song's release. This was all timed around Valentine's Day, providing a nice storyline in the media.
  • This was the first song Prince released after changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol (he was referred to as "the artist" or "the artist formerly known as Prince"). He started using the name Prince again in 2000.
  • Along with the women who sent in photos, the actress Vanessa Marcil and the singer Nona Gaye (daughter of Marvin) appear in the video, which Prince directed with Antoine Fuqua. The concept was women watching footage of their fantasies. We see one performing on stage and another becoming President of the United States.
  • The song didn't appear on an album until September 1995 when it was included on The Gold Experience, his first using his symbol instead of his name.
  • "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" was Prince's first UK #1 hit. It was his 37th single release, making him the artist with the most attempts to get to #1 in the UK before achieving a chart-topper. He had had two previous UK #1s as a songwriter, the 1984 hit single "I Feel For You" by Chaka Khan and Sinead O'Connor's 1990 cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U."
  • In 1995 the Italian songwriters Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino filed suit against Prince, claiming "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" plagiarized "Takin' Me To Paradise," a dance song they wrote that Raynard J released in 1983. There is some similarity in the vocal melodies of the two songs, but most people wouldn't make the connection. Still, an Italian court ruled in favor of the Italian songwriters. Appeals dragged the case out for decades; it wasn't closed for good until 2021, when Prince's estate ran out of options and verdict was upheld.

    Although the court case was confined to Italy, it kept The Gold Experience from being re-released along with Prince's other albums after his death. It also kept the song off streaming services until 2022.
  • Prince's girlfriend Mayte Garcia recorded a cover of this song with a slight change to the title; it was called "The Most Beautiful Boy in the World" and debuted on her 1995 album, Child of the Sun, which Prince co-produced. They got married in 1996 and divorced in 2000.

Comments: 3

  • Leo from Westminster 1, MdOne of the better Rock Ballads he's done, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World find Prince and his guitar going the slow route but he makes it look simple and honest-this time, his Fender grinds out a Funk groove. Which just shows at the end of the day even a Telecaster needs love and affection. For all I care and know, Prince just as well would sing and write this song to his guitar. Who knows? The way I see it, there's nothing new under the sun-Music is a metaphor and language for self-expression and as far as I'm concerned, no one does that better than Prince. He is a musical genius who will never be forgotten!
  • Julian from Rochester, MnI've heard that the song was inspired by model and actor Daniela Amavia.
  • Victoria from Warren, RiI love this song because it sounds like it's about ur own live.
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