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.


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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