Perhaps it can finally all be settled. Who wore it better? Prince or Sinead O'Connor? The Prince Estate has released a previously unheard version of the song, which was first composed by Prince. The singer, who passed away in 2016, wrote the song in 1984 and recorded it at the Flying Cloud Drive "Warehouse" studio in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Now, his estate has published a video showing Prince and his band, the Revolution, rehearsing the song during the summer of 1984:
The song first appeared publicly on The Family's self-titled debut album in 1985. The Family was a band set up by Prince but didn't feature the singer himself. A live version of Prince singing the song exists on the three disc The Hits/The B-Sides which was released in 1993.
The lead singer of The Family told the Guardian about being told how to sing the song in 1985. Paul "St. Paul" Peterson said, "I was told to learn Prince’s inflections, his emotions, and the melody line." When trying to generate those emotions, Peterson said, "So I thought about a girl called Julie, who broke my heart in high school." Upon hearing the unreleased version, Peterson told the Guardian, "I'm freaking out here, man."
In 1990, the song exploded across the world when Dublin-born singer Sinead O'Connor recorded a version of it. The song was accompanied by an equally powerful video that thrust O'Connor into international stardom:
The new version of the song was released on the same day that it was announced that no criminal charges would be brought about in Prince's death. Carver County Attorney Mark Metz told the media on April 19 that Prince had been taking a knock-off Vicodin which contained fentanyl. There was no evidence to suggest anyone around the singer knew about this, reports CBS News.
It was reported in April 2017 that there is a serious dispute about Prince's assets, including unreleased material, because he had no will.