Vanity, who Prince helped bring into spotlight in 1981 as frontwoman of the girl group Vanity 6, has died at the age of 57, according to TMZ. Born Denise Katrina Matthews, she had fought kidney failure for years as well as a more recent abdominal ailment.
Matthews led Vanity 6 to its greatest attention for the Prince-produced 1982 single “Nasty Girl” before turning her talents to the movies, acting in films like “The Last Dragon” (1985) and “Action Jackson” (1988). In the 1990s, Matthews suffered a drug overdose and subsequently became a born-again Christian.
Percussionist and fellow Prince collaborator Sheila E. was among the first musicians to react to Matthews’ passing on social media. “Miss you dearly” she tweeted. “U are in his arms now.”