Whatever Happened To Vanity, Denise Matthews?
Denise Matthews, better known as Vanity, captivated Prince with her exotic beauty and charisma. She was also a crack-addict who almost died from her drug usage at the height of her fame in the eighties.
In the eighties, Prince ruled supreme as the King of the popular music world. The only other star who surpassed him in popularity was Michael Jackson. Prince was known for introducing the world to a bevy of beautiful, and often exotic, women to the world. Perhaps the most well-known women he had as a protege was a gorgeous, biracial Canadian woman named Denise Matthews. It was reported that Prince was involved in a love-triangle with Denise and Rick James. And, then, Denise dated both him and Nikki Sixxx at the same time.
Prince decided to re-christen her “Vanity,” reportedly because when he looked at her it was like looking in the mirror. Originally, he wanted to name her “vagina,” but she refused. She became the leader of a girl group that performed solely in lingerie called Vanity 6. Despite there being only three girls, the number of six was used, because the three girls had six breasts. To say that Prince was a little obsessed with sex at the time, might be an understatement!
Vanity 6 ended up only releasing one album, but the music is iconic and actually quite good, a mixture of new wave, funk, and R & B. Vanity is a surprisingly good vocalist for an ex B-movie star and adult model. She has a voice that is both flirtatious and cynical, perfectly delivering Prince’s hyper-sexual and rhythmic songs. Their biggest hit, “Nasty Girl,” was both titillating and supremely danceable at the same time.
She had a tumultuous life during this period, a drug-addict hooked on crack cocaine, she abruptly left Prince, just as she was about to become the star in “Purple Rain.” She was replaced by another actress named Patricia Kotero, and “Purple Rain” went on to become a blockbuster movie.
Afterwards she released a couple more albums, starred in several low-budget B-Movies, and then she almost died due to her drug usage. It was during this time she claimed that God spoke to her, claiming that she would live if she would denounce her previous life as Vanity.
Since that time, she has married and divorced, and dedicated her life to God. She speaks at churches and wants nothing to do with the life she had as Vanity. In the video below, she talks about her conversion.
Despite her brief time at the top of the music-world, Denise Matthews possessed a unique beauty and charisma that has marked her forever as one of the sex icons of the eighties. Buried underneath the teased hair and lingerie, also lay a talented woman, who could sing, paint, and designed many of her own outfits. Since Vanity, no other woman has been able to equal her magnetism and exotic charisma.