LONDON – might 03: Prince attends the opened of his shop in Camden on might 03, 1994 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

*Prince’s 1994 track “The most Beautiful Girl in the World” is among his more significant single releases because that a number of reasons. It was his first number one struggle in the UK, which happened on this particular day 26 year ago.

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It’s additionally a monitor that’s no much longer available. Anywhere. If you own Prince’s 1994 EP “The Beautiful Experience,” 1995 album “The yellow Experience,” or girlfriend purchased the single or 12″, think about yourself lucky. Friend can’t discover the monitor on any reissues the those albums, any type of retrospective arsenal or current streaming service due to another difference of the tune – it’s the subject of a 21-year-long plagiarism lawsuit that Prince ultimately lost.

Here’s the story behind Prince’s struggle ballad, “The most Beautiful Girl in the World.”

Prince advertisement for the 1994 miss out on USA Pageant

“The most Beautiful Girl in the World” make its an international debut in ~ the miss out on USA pageant ~ above Feb. 11, 1994, ~ above CBS. The minute was supported in the over ad that ran in news and trade magazines. It showed Prince sit in a chair v a hat pulled down over his face. Watch the song’s human being debut below.

Miss USA 1994 – The most Beautiful Girl in the people at the 4 min, 36 sec mark.

The song, inspired by his soon-to-be fiancé, Mayte Garcia, was very first released together a one-off solitary on February 24, 1994. Three months later, it became the lead solitary of his EP “The Beautiful Experience,” a arsenal of remixes released on might 17, 1994 under his brand-new name – i beg your pardon was no a name, however his trademark “love symbol.” The Artist previously Known together Prince (or “The Artist” or “TAFKAP”), as world started calling him in ~ the time, was upset through his Warner Bros contract and also famously created “slave” ~ above his face, referring to his regarded relationship v the label.

Below, a YouTuber called “Prince’s Friend” breaks down Prince’s gripe through his document breaking 1992 Warner Bros. Contract.

Prince 1992 Contract v Warner Bros Explained

Prince released “The many Beautiful Girl in the World” ~ above his own NPG Records and also German indie company Edel Music after very first getting consent from Warner Bros. It was independently distributed by west coast-based Bellmark documents (formed through Al Bell the Stax records fame).

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Prince advertisement for “The many Beautiful Girl in the World” video

Back in December 1993, TAFKAP had actually ads put in US, British, Dutch and Spanish publication reading: “Eligible bachelor seeks the many beautiful girl in the human being to spend the holidays with” and directed every submissions come Paisley Park Studios. End 50,000 girls supposedly responded with photos and videos sent out in. Seven finalists were chosen to show up in the video for “The many Beautiful Girl in the World,” and 30 semi-finalists to be featured ~ above the sleeve of the record.

The many Beautiful Girl in the World single art

The video was an alleged to it is in shot in Los Angeles City room on January 23, but then this happened…

The 6.7 size Northridge earthquake took place on Jan. 17, 1994 and left the Los Angeles area in shambles, therefore the video ended up gift shot in Minneapolis ~ above Jan. 23, and premiered the following Valentine’s Day.

Antoine Fuqua and also TAFKAP co-directed the video, and famous educator Marva Collins, Nona Gaye and actress Vanessa Marcil make a cameo appearances. Clock below.

The many Beautiful Girl in the human being – The Beautiful experience version

“The many Beautiful Girl in the World” was Prince’s 37th solitary and TAFKAP’s third. Top top April 16, 1994, two months after its release, the song got to No. 1 ~ above the UK Singles Chart. It remains his only chart topper in the country. The exact same year, he performed the track live at the world Music Awards in Monte Carlo. Watch below.

The most Beautiful Girl In the word – human being Music Awards, Monte Carlo, 1994

The track was a bona fide hit, having additionally reached No. 1 Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, brand-new Zealand, Spain and Switzerland in enhancement to the U.K. It peaked at No. 3 here in the U.S., and also went gold with 700,000 copies sold. It would certainly be his last top 10 solitary on the Billboard hot 100 throughout his lifetime.

The adhering to year, Prince put a different version of the song on his complete length studio album, “The gold Experience,” released on Sept. 2, 1995. The drums and also bridge pack much more of a beat in this mix, and there are slight instrumental changes, included falsetto runs, sound effects and also instrumental breaks. Hear below.

The most Beautiful Girl in the human being – The Gold suffer version

The year 1995 also significant the beginning of the end for the song, once Italian songwriters Bruno Bergonzi and Michele Vicino sued Prince alleging the track plagiarized their 1983 dance track “Takin’ Me come Paradise.” The session vocalist to be Raynard. J, the pseudonym that Jay Rolandi. Listen below.

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Raynard J. – Takin’ Me come Paradise (1983)

Italy’s notoriously slow court system entails rulings have three ring of verdicts and cases regularly drag on for much more than 20 years. The very first ruling in Prince’s plagiarism case, do by the Rome court in 2003, went versus Bergonzi and also Vicino, but they won on very nice in 2007. The 3rd and final sentence was handed under by the “court of cassation” in may 2015, one year before Prince’s death.

Billboard reported that under the 2015 ruling, Prince is barred indigenous distributing “The many Beautiful Girl in the World” in Italy. The ruling must be published, at Prince’s expense, in 2 Italian national dailies and also two professional music magazines. Also, the song’s publishers, Warner Chappell Italy, must provide the verdict to Prince’s doorstep. Reportedly there were various attempts to supply the verdict to Paisley Park, however they “couldn’t discover anyone home.”

Prince died on April 21, 2016. His legacy is now left to deal with the weird needs of this verdict. According come Billboard, the Italian collecting society SIAE now recognizes Bergonzi and Vicino as the writer of “The most Beautiful Girl in the World” and Bergonzi says that “we have started to obtain some nobility payments.”

Mayte Garcia, who at some point married Prince in 1996, taped her own version a year earlier referred to as “The many Beautiful young in the World.” The song appears on she Prince-produced 1995 album “Child the the Sun.” released in Europe top top his NPG Records. Mayte’s version has the same crucial backing track with extra reverb, and also her vocals, v a few slight ad-lib changes. Listen below:

Although Prince notoriously preserved his music native being offered in commercials and films, the legal history behind “The many Beautiful Girl in the World” adds another dimension to filmmaker Kevin Smith’s effort to usage the track in his 2001 movie “Jay and Silent Bob win Back.”