R.I.P. Singer, Actress and former Prince Protégé Denise Matthews aka Vanity

Vanity, best known as Prince's former protégé and member of Vanity 6, died at 57 after battling an inflammation of her small intestines. Vanity, whose real name was  Denise Katrina Matthews, passed away in hospital in Fremont, California according to sources close to her family. During the 90s, the star suffered a cocaine overdose that left her kidneys so damaged she required regular dialysis.
Vanity (PAUL NATKIN/WIREIMAGE); Rolling Stone cover with Prince (RICHARD AVEDON)

article by Ethan Sacks via nydailynews.com

Denise Katrina Matthews, popularly known as Vanity, a protege of Prince who achieved stardom in the 1980s as the lead singer of the all-girl group Vanity 6, died Monday in a California hospital, the gossip site TMZ reported.  She was 57.

The Canadian-born pop singer and actress had been battling inflammation of her small intestines, the latest in a string of health problems.  Matthews had asked fans to help her pay for her treatments through a GoFundMe page as she fought a condition called sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis. In 1994, a crack cocaine overdose left her kidneys so damaged that she required regular dialysis.

“Boy, it is not fun suffering in this body of weak flesh… but Jesus is straightening out all my crooked places in my heart as I go through this time of pain,” the born-again Christian wrote on the GoFundMe page.

It’s an all-too-soon ending for an artist who showed so much promise with Vanity 6’s 1980s hits, “Nasty Girl,” “Drive Me Wild” and “He’s So Dull” produced by Prince.

Vanity 6 toured with the megastar before Vanity broke out on her own solo career, which yielded the hits “Pretty Mess,” “Mechanical Emotion” and “Under the Influence.”

The former model also acted in a steady string of movies, including “The Last Dragon” (1985), “52 Pick-up” (1986) and “Action Jackson” (1988).

After her 1994 overdose, Matthews left Hollywood and rededicated her life to her local church.

Sources told TMZ that she attended services as recently as Saturday night, when she told her fellow congregants that she was ready to go home.

5 thoughts on “R.I.P. Singer, Actress and former Prince Protégé Denise Matthews aka Vanity”

  1. I can vouch for her transformation into a powerful Woman of God! I saw her in person twice, and whereas the effects of drug abuse on the brain were present, yet were the changes the Power of God had made in her life. I am so saddened to hear the news of her death, but I can testify that she truly had given her life to The LORD! “Fly away birdie and be at peace, take your rest and we will take it from here!” Loving your committment, faithfulness, and dedication to a changed life. Missing You Already, we Celebrate Your Life!

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