80’s Prince Protege Vanity Dies at Age 57

Denise Katrina Matthews, the singer formerly known as Vanity, has died. She was 57.

Matthews died from kidney failure, the result of years of crack cocaine abuse, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She died in a hospital in Fremont, Calif.

Vanity was the original lead singer of the Prince protege group Vanity 6 who produced the hit song “Nasty Girl.” She also recorded two solo albums for Motown —Wild Animal and Skin on Skin — and starred in movies The Last Dragon and Action Jackson.

Matthews became a born-again Christian after a near fatal drug overdose in 1994, and renounced her former identity. The drugs abuse did damage to her kidney’s and she had a kidney transplant in 1997 and went on to devote her life to evangelism.

In 2010, she self-released an autobiography called Blame It on Vanity.

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