There’s music you hear that takes you back – nostalgia – back to a place, a time, a period of your life when things were a certain way. It reminds you of a feeling – happy, sad, disappointed, angry, or the best one – party! Prince, Purple Rain, Vanity 6, et all, gave us a ride down party lane back in the ‘80’s in a kinky, freaky, almost cross the line, kind of way.
At age 57, Prince paid tribute to his late protégé, Vanity, during a concert in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, February 16. The singer-songwriter spoke openly about his ex-girlfriend Denise Katrina Matthews, also known as Vanity, and told the audience that learning of her death on Monday was difficult.
Prince discovered the late model-actress in the early ’80s, and recruited her for the girl group Vanity 6 along with Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett. The band, originally called “The Hookers,” was Prince’s vision of three women performing in lingerie and sing sensual songs with lyrics about sex and fantasy. Prince had originally suggested that Vanity use the stage name “Vagina,” but was reluctant and insisted on Vanity.
Vanity died at the age of 57 from kidney failure and an abdominal illness. Matthews was born in Canada and began her career as a model. She took on film roles, playing mostly sultry characters beginning in 1980, including in the movies “52 Pick-Up” and “Action Jackson.” In the mid 1990s, Matthews turned her back on the entertainment industry and dedicated herself to her Christian faith, eventually becoming an evangelist. As a devout Christian, she spoke with disdain of her former career, saying she had been miserable throughout it.