February 15, 2016 10:26 pm
Updated: February 16, 2016 1:46 pm

Vanity, Prince’s protégée, dies at 57 after long illness

Vanity, a.k.a. Denise Katrina Matthews, pictured in 1982.

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Vanity (real name Denise Katrina Matthews), lead singer of the ’80s girl group Vanity 6, has died after years of battling kidney failure, reports TMZ. The Niagara Falls, Ont.-born musician also recently suffered a stomach illness.

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Vanity 6 was known for songs including the 1982 hit Nasty Girl, which was produced by Prince. The group parted ways a year later in 1983, and Matthews embarked on a solo career, releasing songs like Pretty Mess and Mechanical Emotion.

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The singer battled an addiction to crack in the 1990s and suffered an overdose in 1994.

She had recently set up a GoFundMe page to pay for treatment for inflammation of the small intestine; she only reached $6,599 of her $50,000 goal.

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Matthews had famously become a born-again Christian since her drug overdose, and was clean and sober up until her death.

Her friend, fellow musician MC Hammer, tweeted about her passing.

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