And the list sadly goes on. This time with the passing of Canadian singer Denise Katrina Matthews. In other words, Vanity, last Monday Feb. 15 at the age of 57. An information announced by Gisela Hernandez, spokeswoman for Washington Hospital Health Care System. With no details though about the circumstances of her death. Although it’s believed that the effects of a drug abuse on her kidneys have been for much in her decease. With the latter obliging her to undergo peritoneal dialysis five times a day before a transplant.
A native of Niagara Falls, ON, Denise began her career as a model. Winning the Miss Niagara Hospitality title in 1977. This before competing for Miss Canada the year after. And at age 17, she moved to New York City to further her career. This while signing with Zoli Model Agency. Only doing commercials and photo shoots though because of being considered too short in stature.
Billed as D.D. Winters, she had a minor role back in 1980 in a horror movie (‘Terror Train’) shot a year before in Montreal. Eventually getting the leading role in ‘Tanya’s Island’, filmed in Toronto… She would later star as Vanity in various films. From ‘The Last Dragon’ to ‘Never Too Young To Die’. But also ’52 Pick-Up’ and ‘Action Jackson’. The latter standing as her highest role… Opposite Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson and Sharon Stone back in 1988…
She came to meet Prince at the American Music Awards in 1980. And he renamed her Vanity coz’ of admittedly seeing in her his female reflection. Learning that she could sing, he offered her to become the lead singer of a three girl-band then named The Hookers which he’d put together. Featuring Susan Moonsie, Brenda Bennett and Jamie Shoop. The group changing their name into Vanity 6 with Matthews replacing Shoop.
Remembered for their sexually explicit lyrics, performances and costumes (the “6” in their name referring to the female trio’s breasts), the girls released only one album – ‘Vanity 6’ – back in 1982. Eventually performing with Prince and The Time on his 1999 Tour until the Spring of 1983. Vanity soon after leaving Vanity 6 This to pursue a solo career, right before the shooting of ‘Purple Rain’.
The girls’s biggest success, the funky ‘Nasty Girl’ is pretty much illustrative as to what they were about as a matter of fact.
Vanity gave up her stage name though and became a born-again Christian back in 1994. Then, after a kidney transplant 3 years later, she decided to devote her life to evangelism. Most definitely speaking with disdain of her former career. Thus saying she had been miserable throughout it.
Sheila E, another former Prince protege who’s also professing Christian, said goodbye to Denise Matthews in a tweet…
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
Indamixworldwide would like to address their deepest condolences to Denise‘s family and friends.
Gone too soon: Vabity passed, aged 57!