Singer and actress Denise Matthews, who was known by the stage name “Vanity,” has died of kidney failure at the age of 57.
According to her GoFundMe page, Matthews had been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis or SEP, an inflammation of the small intestines, and died at a hospital in Fremont, California. The singer also underwent dialysis in 1994, when her addiction to crack cocaine led to renal failure.
— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONYMag) February 16, 2016
“So pray for me now for I am believing in complete healing of this body longing to be healed made whole my heart,” Denise Matthews wrote on GoFundMe four months before her passing. “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…”
Denise Matthews began her career in the entertainment industry as a model when she was 17 years old. She met Prince at the American Music Awards in 1980 and soon after became his protégé. Matthews became the lead singer of the girl group Vanity 6, and popularized the dance floor hit “Nasty Girl.”
Denise “Vanity” Matthews And Vanity 6 Sang This Hit in 1982
When the group disbanded in 1983, Vanity tried to launch a solo career and appeared in several films. During those years, she developed an addiction to crack cocaine, which led to a drug overdose. She almost died of renal failure in 1994 but was able to recover, and later on claimed that Jesus Christ appeared to her and offered her a second chance at life. Matthews then renounced her sexy Vanity persona and became a born again Christian. She spent the last decades of her life as a Christian evangelist.
Denise Matthews Shares her Journey to Christianity
Friends from the entertainment industry paid tribute to Denise Matthews on social media.
— Jodeci (@jodecimusic) February 16, 2016
I am really sad to hear of Vanity/ Denise Matthews’ passing. I will always treasure our time together.
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) February 16, 2016