"The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" is a song by Prince from his 1994 album The Gold Experience. It was his first release since changing his stage name to an unpronounceable symbol. With the consent of Prince's usual record distributor Warner Bros. Records, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" was released by NPG Records and Edel Musicand independently distributed by Bellmark Records, under the control and guidance of Chris France at Music Of Life as a one-off single. The single was released in February 1994 in the UK and remains his only No 1 in the UK Singles Chart,and was shortly followed by an EP of remixes titled The Beautiful Experience that also charted at 18 in the UK chart. The version that was released on The Gold Experience is a different mix of the song.
The original track is a slow-grooving ballad that serenades a beautiful woman, and was likely directed toward his soon to be fiancé Mayte Garcia, whom he later married on Valentine's Day, 1996. It is also claimed that Prince was inspired by actress Vanessa Marcil. The song was played during the Miss America pageant in 1994, but not in full. It was widely advertised in news and trade magazines that a new song from Prince would be premiered on the pageant. The ads had Prince sitting in a chair with a hat pulled down over his face, and Garcia standing next to his chair. The song was later released on February 24, 1994. It again later appeared on The Gold Experience. The version on The Gold Experience is remixed. The drums are more crisp in the mix and there are slight instrumental changes. There are also added sound effects and instrumental breaks in the second version. The bridge is slightly more robust as well. The song is still based in light guitar, keyboards and live drums. Although most of the song is sung in falsetto with Prince reaching some extremely high notes, the bridge has him using his regular voice as well as a lower baritone range in parts.
The song was a worldwide hit and established Prince's ability to succeed commercially under his new name, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It became his first (and to date, only) UK No. 1 single under any name as a performer.He did have two other UK No. 1s as a songwriter: the 1984 hit single "I Feel for You" by Chaka Khan and Sinéad O'Connor's 1990 cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U". Since 1994, the song has been his last top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
- "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (single edit) – 4:06
- "Beautiful" (single edit) – 3:54
- UK 12"
- "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" – 4:07
- "Beautiful" – 3:57
- "Beautiful" (extended club version) – 6:25
- "Beautiful Beats" – 3:30
|Canadian Singles Chart||6|
|Irish Singles Chart||4|
|Swedish Singles Chart||13|
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|ARIA Singles Chart||1|
|Swiss Singles Chart||1|
|Netherlands Singles Chart||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||3|
|US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)||2|
|US Top 40 Mainstream (Billboard)||3|
|US Rhythmic Top 40 (Billboard)||3|
On December 5, 2007, Prince was sentenced on appeal from a ruling of the Court of Appeal of Rome (Italy) for plagiarism. The song was ruled identical to "Takin' Me to Paradise" by Raynard J, written by Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino and published in 1983. The first instance of the case dated back to 2003.
Prince's then-wife, Mayte, later recorded her own version called "The Most Beautiful Boy in the World". The song appears on her album Child of the Sun. The B-side was a Spanish version of the song, "I Quieres Ser El Mas Bello De Este Mundo?". It was the same instrumental track with extra reverb, and her vocals, with a few slight ad-lib changes. It was released on Paisley Park Records on June 7, 1995, Prince's birthday.