While we celebrate music with the Grammys tonight, we get the sad news that Prince protegé, Vanity, lead singer of the ’80s girl group Vanity 6, has died after years of battling kidney failure. Her real name was Denise Katrina Matthews. She passed away in a Fremont, CA hospital earlier today t the age of 57. A few months ago she set up a GoFundMe page, and said she’d been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis –an inflammation of the small intestines. She said,
“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.”
She had also battled crack addiction in the ’90s, and after a 1994 OD, her kidneys were done for. To stay alive, she had to undergo almost daily dialysis treatment.
Her biggest hit came in 1982 with Nasty Girl, produced by Prince, and her group Vanity 6 toured with Prince on his ’99 tour. She went on to sign a solo record deal with Motown, and starred in movies like “The Last Dragon” and “Action Jackson.” Vanity eventually ditched Hollywood, quit drugs and became a born-again Christian in the mid ’90s. She remained active in her local church up until her death. We’re told she was in church just this Saturday evening and told the congregation she was “ready to go home.”