Passings: Vanity (1959 - 2016)

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Prince protégé Vanity has died at age 57 from kidney disease.

Denise Matthews-Smith was named Vanity by Prince because he claimed he saw himself when he looked at her. Prince met Vanity at the American Music Awards in 1980 and asked her to front the trio he was creating Vanity 6.

Prince then produced their album which included the hit Nasty Girl (1982 / #7 R&B / #1 Dance).

Vanity left Vanity 6 after just one album, moving on to work for Motown Records where she recorded two solo albums, Wild Animal and Skin on Skin. Vanity also recorded songs for the Action Jackson movie and had a hit song with Faraway Eyes.

She then made a third album with former Time members Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis before giving up on recording.

Vanity became an actor and had parts in The Last Dragon, Never Too Young To Die, Action Jackson and Friday The 13th.

Vanity was once engaged to Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue and linked to Adam Ant and Billy Idol.

Denise Katrina Matthews suffered from sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis, a complex form of a kidney disease, and passed away in a Fremont, California hospital on February 15, 2016, at the age of 57.

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