Former Prince Protege’, Denise “Vanity” Matthews of Vanity 6, Dies At 57


Denise Katrina Matthews, you may know her better by her stage name, the singer formerly known as Vanity, from movies like Action Jackson, has died. She was 57.

Matthews died from kidney failure, the result of years of crack cocaine abuse, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She died in a hospital in Fremont, Calif.

The Canadian born singer was also a songwriter, dancer, actress and model, leading the girl group Vanity 6 from 1981 to 1983. In that time, they recorded the smooth funk single, “Nasty Girl,” which was produced by Prince and topped the Billboard dance charts.

READ: How Singer Prince Likes To Eat His Breakfast (It’s Not What You Think)vanity 3

Many people get her confused with Apollonia from the movie “Purple Rain” but even though the group sang the Vanity 6 songs in movie, that was not Matthews who played the lead singer’s role. Prince chose Apollonia Kotero to play the role instead.

Vanity recorded two solo albums for Motown: Wild Animal and Skin on Skin before taking her break from music completely.