After decades of battling kidney disease, Denise Katrina Matthews has passed away at the age of 57. We all remember Matthews under her stage name Vanity and lead singer of the group Vanity 6, discovered by Prince in 1981. It’s reported by TMZ that she died at a hospital in California earlier today. Under the guidance of their mentor Prince, Vanity 6 created one of the biggest trendsetting hits of 1982 with “Nasty Girl.”
After the success of their mega hit, Vanity would later land brief but memorable roles in movies The Last Dragon and Action Jackson. Later during the 1990’s she began to struggle with addiction to crack-cocaine, which would eventually lead to an overdose in 1994 that caused her kidneys to fail. This led Matthews to become a born-again Christian shortly thereafter. Following their final tour with mentor Prince in 1999, she decided to quit the entertainment business altogether.
After years of ongoing dialysis treatment, TMZ reported that a few months ago she announced she had been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis that causes inflammation of the small intestines, and also set up set up a GoFundMe page for support. It’s also reported that Saturday evening Matthews told the congregation at her local church that she was “ready to go home.”