The visual finds Kingston bouncing between the modern day and a retro fantasia straight out of the 1950s as he swoons over the untouchable women of the song’s title. “You’re way too beautiful, girl/ That’s why it’ll never work/ You’ll have me suicidal, suicidal/ When you say it’s over/ Damn all these beautiful girls/ They only wanna do you dirt/ They’ll have you suicidal, suicidal/ When they say it’s over,” he croons inside a soda shop, backed by barbershop-style doo-wop singers.
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Released on May 26, 2007, the lovestruck track samples Ben E. King‘s classic “Stand by Me” and was the Jamaican-American newcomer’s breakout single, eventually topping the Billboard Hot 100 and reigning over the chart for four consecutive weeks that summer.
At the time, the song courted a bit of controversy over the lyrical references to suicide in its chorus, which was sometimes edited on radio as “in denial.” It also prompted a cheeky response titled “Beautiful Girl Reply” from fellow pop star JoJo. Though that viral follow-up didn’t make the cut for JoJo’s scrapped follow-up to 2006’s The High Road, it debuted at No. 39 on Billboard‘s Rhythmic Airplay chart (then known as the Rhythmic Top 40).
Meanwhile, Kingston’s self-titled debut album also included the reggae-tinged top 20 hits “Me Love” and “Take Me There,” and later that fall, he collaborated with Natasha Bedingfield on Pocketful of Sunshine lead single “Love Like This.”
Revisit Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” video below.