Singer and Prince protégé Vanity dies at 57

Reports cite cause of death as kidney failure

Denise Matthews, the singer known by her stage name Vanity, has passed away at the age of 57.

The Canadian-born singer and member of girl group Vanity 6 died from kidney failure. She passed away at a hospital in Fremont, California on Monday (February 15). Her death was a result of crack cocaine abuse, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Vanity 6’s 1982 hit ‘Nasty Girl’ was written and produced by Prince, who mentored Matthews during her early career. The song topped the Billboard dance charts.


Following one album with Vanity 6, Matthews released two solo albums (1984’s ‘Wild Animal’ and 1986’s ‘Skin On Skin’) on Motown before retiring from music after becoming a born-again Christian.

Matthews published her autobiography Blame It On Vanity in 2010.

Responding to the news, The Roots’ Questlove wrote on social media: “Vanity was everything to me. Everything. Rest in peace”.

Solange, MC Hammer and fellow singer Sheila E have also paid tribute to the late star. See their messages beneath.

Man. Vanity was everything to me. Everything. Rest in peace. Denise “Vanity” Mathews.

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on