Prince protege and singer, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews dies of kidney problems
Well known pop singer Denise Matthews who left her great career and became a born again Christian is dead. She died this past Monday in Fremont, California. She was 57.
Initially the news of her death came in the form of rumors. Later the news was confirmed by her sister who is some ten years younger than the former singer and pop icon. Renay Matthews, the sister of Vanity said that her sister died of kidney problems.
In a statement released to the media the 47-year old Renay said that her sister had been admitted to a hospital on Saturday night after struggling for years with health issues related to her kidneys.
In the eighties she was a very popular singer and pop icon. She was the lead singer of the female trio Vanity 6 from 1981 until it disbanded in 1983. The group was well known for their 1982 R&B/funk hit “Nasty Girl”. Vanity’s music career also included two solo albums on Motown Records, Wild Animal and Skin on Skin, as well as the hit singles “Pretty Mess”, “Mechanical Emotion”, Undress (from the movie Action Jackson), and “Under the Influence”. She also had a successful acting career, starring in films The Last Dragon, 52 Pick-Up, and Action Jackson. Matthews died on February 15, 2016 at age 57 due to renal failure.
Many people were surprised to see her give up very good career and become a born again Christian. She started very young in the music industry.
The singer who was brought up in Niagara Falls, Ontario, worked as a model in Canada before shifting to the United States. After she met Prince at the American Music Awards, he helped her establish the Vanity 6, three women who had a hit in 1982 with “Nasty Girl.” After the group separated, Matthews released work as a solo artist. Matthews later said that the fast pace had impacted her life, describing herself as “extremely wild” to Jet magazine in 1993. She said that drug use had nearly killed her and she had renal failure in the 1990s. After that incident, her life took a religious turn. She renounced the name Vanity and became a Christian evangelist.