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Vanity, Prince protégé dead at 57

Matthews battled kidney failure and more recently, an abdominal illness.

Vanity, lead singer of the ’80s girl group Vanity 6 whose real name was Denise Katrina Matthews, passed away in a Fremont, Calif. hospital on Feb. 15 at age 57. Photo: Getty/Michael Ochs Archive

Performed in ’80s female group Vanity 6; movie roles included “Action Jackson” and the Berry Gordy film, “The Last Dragon”

FREMONT, Calif. – Vanity, lead singer of the ’80s girl group Vanity 6, has died after years of battling kidney failure and, more recently an abdominal illness, according to entertainment tracker, TMZ.

ComptonHerald.com | Vanity 6 album art

Cover art for the 1982 album Vanity 6. Photo: Warner Bros.

Vanity, whose real name was Denise Katrina Matthews, passed away in a Fremont, Calif. hospital on Feb. 15 according to sources close to her family. She was 57.

A few months ago, Vanity and supporters set up a GoFundMe page and said she’d been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis – an inflammation of the small intestines.

She also battled a crack cocaine addiction in the ’90s, and after a 1994 overdose, her kidneys were shot. She had to undergo nearly daily dialysis treatments.

Vanity’s biggest hit came in 1982 with “Nasty Girl,” a song produced by Prince. The group toured with Prince on his 1999 tour, but she quit right after that. She went on to sign a solo record deal with Motown, and starred in movies like “The Last Dragon” and “Action Jackson.”

She eventually ditched Hollywood, quit drugs and became a born-again Christian in the mid-’90s. She remained active in her local church up until her death. We’re told she was in church on the evening of Feb. 13 and told the congregation she was “ready to go home.”

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