Image: Twitter / Rolling Stone

Prince Protégé & ‘Nasty Girl’ Singer Vanity Dies Aged 57

Vanity (real name Denise Katrina Matthews), lead vocalist in Prince‘s self-assembled ’80s girl group Vanity 6, has died after years of kidney failure and a recent abdominal illness. She was 57.

As TMZ reports, sources close to Ms Matthews’ family say she passed away in a California hospital on Monday.

Ms Matthews became part of Vanity 6 in 1981, when Prince assembled the trio with fellow vocalists Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie. The group’s best-known song, Nasty Girl (below), was written and produced by Prince and released in 1982.

Prince is yet to publicly comment on Ms Matthews’ passing. Vanity 6 toured with Prince on his 1999 Tour in 1982 and 1983, and Ms Matthews was once romantically linked to him.

Ms Matthews launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in September 2014, and told fans she had been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis — an inflammation of the small intestines. She has also battled cocaine addiction in the ’90s, and overdosed in 1994 before undergoing nearly daily dialysis treatments.

Ms Matthews became a born-again Christian in the mid ’90s, and remained active in her local church up until her death. In a tweet (below), MC Hammer says Ms Matthews left church on Saturday “after giving a beautiful testimony of appreciation for her Pastors & thanks to her savior Jesus”.

In her final post to her GoFundMe page, Ms Matthews said, “So pray for me now for i am believing in complete healing of this body longing to be healed made whole my heart..I have my vision, i keep it close.

“I repent daily my sins, my faults and my shortcomings. He has brought me out of so many fires, oh so many, 23 years alive after the doctors pronounced i would be dead way back then 1992.”

Tributes to Ms Matthews have been flooding in, see a selection below.

Watch: Vanity 6 – Nasty Girl

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