Matthews, who was once known as Prince’s protegé, succumbed to health issues related to her kidneys, and passed away on Monday at the age of 57.
Matthews started out her career as a model in Canada before moving to the U.S., where she met Prince. Prince then helped her form the group Vanity 6 in 1980, and the group had a hit song “Nasty Girl.” Matthews also starred in The Last Dragon and Action Jackson.
In the 90’s Matthews health issues came into play, and she blamed her past drug use. She lost both of her kidneys due to renal failure, but she didn’t let that deter her. She turned her life around and became a Christian evangelist.
When news of her death hit social media, Sheila E, the former Prince drummer and recording artist, tweeted, “I will miss you dearly. U are in his arms now, free of pain.”
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
Rest in Peace Vanity. pic.twitter.com/J6CalDPx60
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) February 16, 2016
Saturday #Vanity left church after giving a beautiful testimony of appreciation for her Pastors & Thanks to her savior Jesus, I was there??
— MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) February 16, 2016