Tuesday, February 16, 2016

VANITY (1959 - 2016)

I am very sad to report that Vanity, the beautiful singer who once fronted Prince's girl group, Vanity 6, best known for the sexually provocative song, "Nasty Girl", passed away on February 15th. She had left behind show business and a wild lifestyle years ago and became a born-again evangelist in the '90's. The former singer/actress had recently been suffering from kidney failure and being treated with peritoneal dialysis due to many years of drug abuse.

She was born Denise Matthews in Ontario, Canada and started in beauty pageants before moving on to some modeling and acting in low-budget films as "D.D. Winters". She soon traveled to America and landed in Los Angeles and it didn't take long for her to get noticed.

Matthews met Prince during the American Music Awards in 1980 and encouraged her to move in to music. The Purple One renamed her "Vanity", teamed her with his former girlfriend, Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett and they became "Vanity 6". The sexy trio released a self-titled album in 1982 and with the help of the hit song, "Nasty Girl", the record sold over half a million copies.

Vanity decided to leave the group to start a solo career and signed with Motown Records in 1984. She recorded two moderately successful albums on the label and appeared in films like "The Last Dragon" and "Action Jackson" with Carl Weathers. It was during this time she got heavily involved with drugs. After nearly dying from an overdose, Vanity claims to have seen Jesus and told her if she left this life behind to devote herself to him, he would save her. Matthews recovered and never looked back, spending the rest of her life as a born-again Christian.

Here are some notable songs during her time as Vanity:

"Nasty Girl" - Vanity 6 (1982) mp3

"Mechanical Emotion" - Vanity (1984) mp3

Take a look at the music video for one of Vanity's songs from her solo career, "Under The Influence":


During a loving musical tribute while receiving this year's lifetime achievement award from BET, we were reminded of what an amazing ...