TMZ.com has reported that Denise Katrina Matthews, aka Vanity, passed away today in a California hospital. Matthews had been recovering from kidney failure and battling an infection of the small intestine. She was 57 years old.
Matthews was a protege of Prince and lead singer of ’80s girl band Vanity 6, along with Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett. The group’s biggest hit was 1982’s “Nasty Girl,” from their self-titled debut. Vanity also released two solo albums on Motown Records and starred in several films, including Action Jackson and The Last Dragon.
In 1994 Matthews left the entertainment industry and devoted her life to Jesus Christ. Her addiction to crack cocaine set her on a downward spiral and contributed to her diminished health. Several years ago she launched a GoFundMe to help republish her autobiography, pay for her daily dialysis and other medical bills.
“I wish to republish my autobiography, “BLAME IT ON VANITY. My book will help fund my ongoing bills for the 23 surgeries i have had over the many years including my continued dialysis 3 x’s a week. I have been saved in Jesus over 23 years now and entirely blessed to be alive.I know my testimony has saved so many people from Unforgivenes, Abuse and being abused, drug addiction, hollywood and the games thereof, lusts of the flesh and especially from Suicide. For this is am raising funds for my lifes work in the ministry my book and as i said before my ongoing bills.”
As news of her death spread, many of her peers in entertainment paid their respects on social media.