Denise Vanity Matthews
Denise Matthews better known for her stage name “Vanity” died at age 57. Denise Vanity Matthews, became an R&B hit in the 80’s until she decided to walk away from her singing, songwriting, dancing, acting and modeling, career in the mid 90’s.
She was the frontlady of the female trio Vanity 6, known for their 1982 hit song, “Nasty Girl.” Denise Katrina Matthews was born January 4, 1959 in Ontario, Canada. Her father was Black and her mother is German of Polish and Jewish decent. She has two sisters, Patricia & Renee.
Denise Vanity Matthews competed in beauty pageants in the Niagara Falls, Ontario area. In 1978 she competed for Miss Canada. Her acting debut, as D.D. Winters, was in 1980 with small roles in Klondike Fever and Terror Train. In the same year she starred in the B-movie Tanya’s Island.
She put out one album with “Vanity 6”, 2 solo albums and a few soundtrack singles including “7th Heaven” on The Last Dragon Soundtrack (1985). Her biggest hits after “Nasty Girl” where: “Pretty Mess” from her 1984 album “Wild Animal”, “Under the Influence” (Skin on Skin 1986), and “Faraway Eyes” & “Undress” from the Action Jackson Soundtrack (1988).
Vanity sure found success, but like many in the industry she also, fell to the addictions. She underwent daily sessions of peritoneal dialysis due to the ill-effects years of drug use and abuse have had on her kidneys.
The singer severed all ties with Hollywood and her history in the music industry, a lucrative career that lasted from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.
In 1997, Denise Vanity Matthews, chose to devote the remainder of her life to evangelism, speaking at churches across the United States and abroad. After becoming a born-again Christian, Denise Vanity Matthews, wasn’t very fond of the wild lifestyle she once lived.
Vanity was once linked romantically to star performers Prince, Adam Ant, Billy Idol and Nikki Sixx. It was Prince who gave Matthews her stage name because she, he said, was his female reflection. She dropped the ‘Vanity’ handle in 1994.
She and Prince met at the 1982 American Music Awards, Initially he wanted to her to go by ****** but Denise was not down with that. Prince made Vanity the lead singer of the popular 80’s rock group “Vanity 6”.
After Prince, it is believed she dated Adam Ant, who had a song called Vanity on his 1983 album “Strip.”
After that relationship she was linked to actor John Stamos and later she dated Nikki Sixx and later came Billy Idol.
Vanity was linked to many famous men. Tough it was not confirmed she is believed to have been romantically linked to Eddie Murphy, James Debarge, Michael Bolton and other famous acts from that time.
Denise Matthews married only once. In 1995 she tied to former NFL player Anthony Smith. The couple ended their marriage after only one year of marriage. In 2012 it was reported Anthony Wayne Smith was awaiting retrial in connection with a 2008 homicide case that ended in a hung jury when the former Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders defensive end, was charged with the role he may have played in three additional killings from previous years.
Smith was charged with four counts of first-degree murder. According to court documents filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Smith faced allegations of torture, kidnapping and robbery.
In 1999, Kevin and Ricky Nettles were snatched from a car wash by two people impersonating police officers. The Nettles brothers, who appeared to have been tortured before they were shot, were found dead the next day, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Investigators say Dennis Henderson and Terry Ware were kidnapped in 2001 by a group of armed suspects. Henderson, whose body was found in the rear of a rental car, had been tortured before he was slain, report authorities. Ware was released by his kidnappers.
Prosecutors believe Smith was linked to all four murders. In January 2016, he was sentenced to serve three consecutive life sentences, without the possibility of parole.