Vanity Dead: Prince Protege, Vanity 6 Singer Dies at 57

Vanity now known as Denise Matthews
Vanity, also known as Denise Matthews Ron Wolfson/WireImage.com

Vanity, the lead singer of girl group Vanity 6 and former protege of Prince, has died from kidney failure and an abdominal illness, reports The Hollywood Reporter. She was 57.

The '80s singer, nee Denise Katrina Matthews, died in a hospital in Fremont, California, on Monday, February 15, according to TMZ.

The former wild child started her career as a teen model and actress. She was soon discovered by Prince, and recruited to be part of a girl group. She and her band members — Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett — rose to fame after they released their dance hit "Nasty Girl," which was written and produced by the "Purple Rain" singer.

On Monday, Vanity was mourned by music greats, including MC Hammer.

"Today my friend & Sister Denise Katrina Matthews p/k/a #Vanity passed away. She absolutely loved GOD unto salvation. Rest in his Glory," he tweeted as the Grammy Awards were about to begin on Monday evening.

"Saturday #Vanity left church after giving a beautiful testimony of appreciation for her Pastors & Thanks to her savior Jesus, I was there," the legendary hip-hop artist continued. "I was looking for her Sunday and the announcement came that she fell ill during the night, she ended up on life support She loved the Lord."

Though she was sober in the last decades of her life, Vanity battled kidney failure and an abdominal illness that were both linked to her history of abusing crack cocaine.

She spent her final years as a born-again Christian.

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