Vanity 6 Lead Singer & Prince Protege Passes Away At 57

16 February 2016 | 2:42 pm | Staff Writer

Hugely tragic news.

Vanity 6 (Denise Matthews middle). Pic via Facebook

Vanity 6 (Denise Matthews middle). Pic via Facebook

Lead singer of '80s R&B group Vanity 6 and protege of music legend PrinceVanity (real name Denise Katrina Matthews), has tragically passed away at the age of 57.

As TMZ reports, Matthews had battled kidney failure for a number of years and more recently suffered from an abdominal illness. 

Matthews passed away in a hospital in Fremont, California. 

After launching a career in modelling, Matthews met Prince who asked her to join the girl group he had assembled, alongside Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie. 

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Vanity 6 released just one self-titled album, with their biggest hit being Nasty Girl, released in 1982 and produced by Prince. 

After the group disbanded in 1983, Matthews signed a deal with Motown Records and released two albums — Wild Animal (1984) and Skin On Skin (1986). 

Matthews battled a crack addiction in the '90s and after an overdose in 1994, her kidneys completely shut down, resulting in her ongoing health issues which included near-daily dialysis treatments.

Matthews spent her remaining years as a born-again Christian and was an active member of her local church.