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Vanity

About Vanity

Denise Katrina Matthews, p/k/a Vanity, was born January 4, 1959 in Niagara Falls, Canada. After achieving minor success in Canada on the beauty pageant circuit, Denise moved to New York at age 17 and began work as a print model, eventually booking a series of gigs in Japan and returning to Canada to film the movies Terror Train and Tanya’s Island.

Denise’s music career began after a chance encounter with Prince at the American Music Awards in 1980. Prince changed her name to Vanity, and grouped her with Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie, calling the trio Vanity 6. Vanity 6 released their self-titled debut in 1982. Vanity left the group in 1983, and signed with Motown Records as a solo artist, where she released the albums Wild Animal and Skin On Skin. She also cultivated a fairly lucrative acting career, shooting over twenty film and TV appearances before she retired from the entertainment industry in the late 90s, after battling drug addiction and enduring resulting health complications.

After retiring from the entertainment industry, Denise founded Pure Heart Ministries and began preaching at different Christian churches across the country. She also wrote and independently published an autobiography that chronicled her journey from entertainer to evangelist, titled Blame It On Vanity, in 2010. On February 15, 2016, she passed away due to complications from renal failure.