Prince Protegee Vanity Dies At 57
Denise Matthews, known professionally as "Vanity", died Monday at a Fremont, CA hospital at the age of 57.
TMZ reports that she had been suffering from kidney failure and abdominal problems of the past few years. She had recently set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for her mounting medical bills, only raising less than $7,000 of her targeted $50,000.
Vanity was discovered by Prince in the early '80s, and formed a group called Vanity 6, who had a hit on the R&B and dance charts with "Nasty Girl". She and Prince dated briefly but broke up in 1984.
She was originally slated to appear in Prince's 1984 film Purple Rain, but dropped out and was replaced by another Prince discovery, Apollonia Kotero.
After landing some acting roles, her career faded, and soon she became addicted to drugs, including crack cocaine. After an overdose, she converted to Christianity. She went on to write a book about her experiences, and started her own ministry in her hometown of Fremont.