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Sheila E Says Vanity, '80s Pop Star Mentored by Prince, Has Died

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Vanity, a pop star who had a long association with Prince and battled kidney failure for decades following a near-fatal overdose, has died.

Fellow musician Sheila E confirmed the news on Twitter Monday, just before the Grammy Awards began.

“SADDEN my FRIEND IN CHRIST gone 2day. Vanity, Denise Matthews. MISS YOU DEARLY. U ARE IN HIS ARMS NOW, NO Pain,” she wrote, invoking Vanity’s real name, Denise Katrina Matthews.

TMZ reports Vanity died Monday at a hospital in Fremont, California, after a 1994 overdose severely damaged her kidneys. She was 57.

Four months ago, she also launched a GoFundMe page, explaining she was diagnosed with “Sclerosis Encapsulating Peritonitis,” a rare and often fatal abdominal condition. She wrote that she had 23 surgeries over the years and underwent dialysis three times a week.

Vanity’s best-known hit was 1982’s “Nasty Girl,” which was produced by Prince and performed by Vanity 6, the all-girl female pop group she fronted. She later toured with the pop legend, and the pair also dated.

The Canadian-born star also appeared in several ’80s movies, including The Last Dragon and Action Jackson, and had roles in television shows including Miami Vice. On Monday, John Stamos also shared a throwback photo of himself with the star.


A photo posted by John Stamos (@johnstamos) on

The singer explained on her GoFundMe page that she was born-again in 1992. Sheila E also tweeted out a link to Vanity’s words before her death, which showed her commitment to God.

“Boy it is not fun suffering in this body of weak flesh… but Jesus is straightening out all my crooked places,” she wrote.