Prince Protégé And Pop Singer Vanity Has Died
Tue, 16 Feb 2016 13:30:26
One time Prince protégé and '80s pop star Denise Matthews, better known by her stagename Vanity, has passed away at the age of 57 in Fremont, California. Matthews reached number one on the U.S. Dance Chart for "Nasty Girl" in 1982 while with Vanity 6. The singer went on to create two more top 15 dance hits as a solo artist, "Pretty Mess" and "Under the Influence."
Pitchfork reported, "Raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Matthews worked as a model in Canada before moving to the U.S., where she met Prince at the American Music Awards. He helped her form the group Vanity 6, who had a hit in 1982 with 'Nasty Girl.' After one album, she broke off to pursue a solo career, releasing two LPs on Motown–Wild Animal and Skin on Skin–as well as touring with Prince. She also starred in films such as The Last Dragon and Action Jackson.
In the early 1990s, Matthews suffered renal failure and lost both her kidneys. She blamed her ill health on drug use connected to her lifestyle in the entertainment industry. Subsequently, she dropped her stage name and became a Christian evangelist. She was later ordained as a minister and preached in churches around the country. Her autobiography, Blame It On Vanity, was published in 2010.
A year before she passed, Matthews had set up a crowdfunding page to help fund her medical costs. Upon the announcement of her death, Sheila Escovedo, the former Prince drummer and recording artist, tweeted, 'I will miss you dearly. U are in his arms now, free of pain.'"
It's been a tough year for the aging rockstar. Remember others we have recently lost, below.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff