Denise Katrina Matthews, known worldwide as Vanity, has died today at 57.
TMZ reports the former Vanity 6 lead singer and Prince protege died at her home in Fremont, California. Several months ago, she opened a GoFundMe page for assistance in treating sclerosis encapsulating peritonitis, a disease that targets the small intestine. Previously, Vanity had overcome crack addition, a 1994 overdose, and kidney failure.
Under Vanity 6, her biggest hit was the Prince produced “Nasty Girl” in 1982. The group released a self-titled debut that same year and dissolved, with Vanity signing a solo contract with Motown. She released two albums, Wild Animal and Skin on Skin, which produced the hit singles “Pretty Mess,” “Mechanical Emotion” and “Under the Influence.” She also made her mark on the big screen starring in the action films The Last Dragon and Action Jackson.
Following her 1994 overdose, Vanity became a born-again Christian. She cut all ties to the entertainment world and embraced evangelism for the rest of her life. She reportedly attended her local church on Saturday and told the congregation she was “ready to go home.”