Singer and protégé of Prince, Vanity passed away yesterday evening, at the age of 57 in a Fremont, Calif. hospital. She had an ongoing battle with kidney failure and abdominal illness. Born Katrina Denise Jones, she was the lead singer in the female trio Vanity 6 from 1981 until the group ended in 1983. The trio was best known for their R&B-funk song “Nasty Girl,” which was produced by Prince.
After a cocaine addiction and overdose in the 90s, Vanity suffered irreversible kidney damage. She had to undergo frequent dialysis treatments for the damage that had been done. In 1994, after recovering from near-fatal renal failure, Vanity renounced her stage name, became a born-again Christian, and left the entertainment industry.
A few months ago, the “Under the Influence” singer started a GoFundMe campaign for herself, revealing that she had been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis — a rare complication of a peritoneal dialysis.
Aside from music, Vanity starred in movies such as “The Last Dragon” and “Action Jackson.”
Here are some tweets of fans and colleagues paying their appreciation and condolences to the late singer:
Wow. Denise Matthews aka Vanity passed away. Hella sad. I used to be so in love with her during her Prince/Last Dragon days. Icon. RIP.
— Francheska (@HeyFranHey) February 16, 2016
RIP to #NastyGirl Denise Matthews / Vanity 6. ❤️
— Jackée Harry (@JackeeHarry) February 16, 2016
R.I.P Vanity “…Never say never, at Heavens elevator door…” ? — MARSHA AMBROSIUS © (@MarshaAmbrosius) February 16, 2016
SADDEN my FRIEND IN CHRIST gone 2day. Vanity, Denise Matthews. MISS YOU DEARLY. U ARE IN HIS ARMS NOW, NO Pain pic.twitter.com/UbCWtl8brc
— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) February 16, 2016
Prayers go out to Vanity’s family and loved ones.