Vanity, the lead singer of the group Vanity 6 and former girlfriend and protege of Prince, died yesterday at the age of 57. Us Weekly says Vanity, born Denise Katrina Matthews, succumbed to an abdominal illness and kidney failure in a hospital in Fremont, California. Sober for the last few decades, Us also said Vanity’s health issues can be traced back to the period in her life when she was hooked on crack and cocaine.
Prince discovered Vanity when she was a teen model and wrote “Nasty Girl,” her group’s most famous song. On first leg of his Piano and a Microphone solo tour, he paid tribute to her in Melbourne last night with a special rendition of “Little Red Corvette” and then shared a personal anecdote.
“Can I tell you a story about Vanity? Or should I tell you a story about Denise? Her and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be. She and I would fight. She was very headstrong cos she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that.”
Prince then opened up about a fight where he threatened to throw Vanity in the pool. She said “You can’t throw me in the pool, you’re too little”. He then asked his six foot bodyguard Chick to do the dirty work for him.
“I probably shouldn’t be telling this story,“ he said, “but she’d want us to celebrate her life and not mourn her.”
Since I can’t imagine him ever powering down to the point where he’s not the public version of Prince, so the mental image I’m getting is amazing. An argument ensues. Threats are made. Prince’s butt cheeks flex in his assless pants. He gives Chick the nod. Vanity is heaved into the pool and reemerges as the finest drowned rat in the world.