Today TMZ is reporting that Vanity has passed away. She was 57.
Vanity, whose real name is Denise Katrina Matthews, is recognized for being Prince’s protege and the lead singer of “Nasty Girl” group Vanity 6. But most remember her for her role in “The Last Dragon” alongside Taimak.
She had minor roles in other 80’s movies, including “Action Jackson” with Carl Weathers. The Toronto native, and former model, had relationships with many entertainers, eventually marrying former Raiders’ player Anthony Smith, which only lasted a year. After battling a crack addiction which almost killed her, Vanity became a born-again Christian, destroying all items related to her “Vanity” days, and turning her life to evangelism.
She battled kidney failure, due to her drug addiction, eventually having to go through daily dialysis treatments for years.
Sheila E posted this message to her Twitter account in regards to today’s sad news:
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