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Vanity was born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of a German mother and a black father. She is the sister of Canadian model Patricia Matthews. Growing up in Niagara Falls, Matthews came from what she described in interviews as a "broken home". Her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother plunged into alcoholism and depression. Matthews' father was very abusive towards her and her sisters. As a child, along with her sisters and step siblings, she regularly moved back and forth between her father and stepmother, mother and grandparents
In 1982, she met Prince at a backstage party at the American Music Awards, where she was working as a model for the night. Prince re-named her Vanity, stating he saw his female reflection when he looked at her. Other versions of the story suggest that Prince coined the name "Vagina" initially, but she refused and renamed herself "Vanity" instead. Later that same year, she became the lead singer of the group Vanity 6. Their trademark was explicit sexuality in their lyrics, performances, and attire (extending even to the group's name, with 6 alluding to the number of breasts in the group). The group's biggest hit, "Nasty Girl", reached #1 on Hot Dance Club Play and was produced by Prince. In late 1982, Vanity 6's album and songs started becoming popular, and they went on the 1999 tour with Prince and The Time until spring 1983.
After one album, Vanity decided to leave her role in Vanity 6 and the proposed film Purple Rain in 1983. Additionally, several songs for Vanity 6's proposed second album were recorded. They were later released in bootleg style. The press reported there were a few reasons why she left Prince's camp: from wanting more money for the film than Prince was willing to pay her, to the break up of their relationship, as well as fighting over her newly acquired crack cocaine habit. She signed a lucrative record deal with Motown Records in 1984 and recorded two albums, Wild Animal and Skin On Skin. Long versions of the singles "Pretty Mess" paired with "Mechanical Emotion" (which featured Morris Day on backing vocals), originally on Wild Animal were released on a 12" by Motown. Her solo albums were moderate successes, with her biggest hit coming from "Under the Influence", off of her 1986 album Skin On Skin. Not long after Vanity's second album was released, she was dropped from Motown before signing with A&M Records. She then signed with Geffen Records. In 1988, under the production of friend/former The Time member Jesse Johnson she recorded songs for the Action Jackson soundtrack. That year Vanity also worked on a third album with famous Janet Jackson producers (and 2 more of Vanity's old peers from her days with Prince/former Time band members) Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, as well as Tony LeMans, but the album was either never completed, or never released. This ended Vanity's work as a recording artist.
She also starred in a handful of movies, including The Last Dragon (featuring Vanity's underground hit "7th Heaven"), the gritty 52 Pick-Up and the 1988 action thriller Action Jackson, in which she starred opposite Carl Weathers, Craig T. Nelson, and Sharon Stone. Vanity also played a villain torturing Nancy Allen's character in 1990's amnesia-plot TV movie Memories of Murder; the film has appeared on the Lifetime channel. She guest starred in an episode of Miami Vice in its third season; she posed for 2 Playboy layouts in 1985 and in 1988; in 1989 she appeared in an episode of Friday the 13th: The Series; and in 1992, she appeared in an episode of Highlander: The Series opposite Adrian Paul.
As Vanity, she was romantically linked with Prince, Adam Ant, Micki Free, André Cymone and Billy Idol during the 1980s. Additionally, Matthews was engaged to Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx in 1987, and joked during interviews that she would then again become Vanity 6 (Sixx). They never married, however. Matthews was a contributor to Sixx's book, released in 2007, called The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, in which Sixx gives detailed accounts of his drug-filled year in 1987, which includes numerous and often bizarre incidents with Vanity, who was heavily addicted to crack cocaine. She was also rumored to have dated Rick James before Prince in the early '80's, singer James DeBarge, as well as Purple Rain director Albert Magnoli, and Michael Bolton during the early '90's.
Like many of Prince's former band mates, including Prince himself, Vanity, later in life made radical changes in her lifestyle mostly due to religion. She gave up her stage name "Vanity", entered drug rehab and became a born-again Christian in 1992. 2 years later in 1994, she almost died from the effects of heavily smoking crack cocaine for a decade (1982-1992). According to Matthews, after being rushed to the hospital, doctors said she had 3 days left to live and she was on life support. She told everyone in interviews that Jesus spoke to her during this time and saved her if she promised to completely give up her Vanity persona and "sinful hollywood lifestyle". In 1995, Matthews was quoted "When I came to the Lord Jesus Christ, I threw out about 1,000 tapes of mine—every interview, every tape, every video. Everything." (Totally Awesome 80's by Matthew Rettenmund, page 57). In interviews she gave during this period, Matthews expressed embarrassment and shame about her "sinful" life as Vanity—from her crack cocaine addiction to her lifestyle and wardrobe choices. Soon after, she broke off all ties to Hollywood and her former life.
In 1995, after a month-long courtship, Matthews married former football player Anthony Smith (he was a defensive end with the Los Angeles Raiders at the time). They divorced in 1996.
In 1996, Matthews became Director of Public Relations for The Genesis Technology Group.
After needing a kidney transplant in 1997, Matthews decided to fully devote her life and work to evangelism. An evangelist and born-again Christian, she now travels to speak at churches across the United States (and sometimes other countries) and currently resides in Fremont, California.
The detrimental effects on her health stemming from her use of crack cocaine for over a decade during her days as Vanity now require Matthews to perform dialysis at home multiple times a day.
Matthews' autobiography, Blame it on Vanity,was written, graphically designed, published and distributed herself, is set to be released in late 2009.
SOURCE : WIKIThe Autobiography of
Evangelist Denise Matthews
formerly known as 'Vanity'
All I had become was thus painted on my face-vanity-and what i had thus spoken from my vile tongue spewed forth from my juvenile breast of disdain.But this was just the beginning of my surrealistic journey, my make believe “i am the new hoopla” squeezed appropriately, sufficiently, distended in your black box, televising all my oddities up close and effectual. With each new, methodical, despicable movement of my being, i closed my fists around a wretched lie which sought to eradicate my life at an impromptu time and i had built no stomach for the fight. With each new bitterness dispelled formulated by this cruel cold world of which i had become its strange kind, i shut my eyes and with deep complaint muttered words of death and despair, while the hot flames seeped, boiled and burned ablaze under my bottle. I was molding to the likes of mediocrity, vulnerability, having had all the experience of a trained seal, being pushed to the brink of hopelessness,and helpless to perpetuate a flawless, ruinous end.
The devil’s perversities snatched up what little strength that lay within me, seeping and sneaking through, preferably choosing their way into my joints, branding and searing my lungs and oh so much torment from scraping away at my own flesh. He waited patiently for the reading of my obituary. I was unrelenting, unreasonably lost, suffocating in dumbfoundedness, further seeking pleasure in a round glass bottle full of vitriolic venom, which slid me into depression beyond blockades. I should have been thoroughly engulfed in an ocean of careful wondrous dreams with the whole Kingdom beset before me, however my ocean thrust me against the rocks and ripped my sour soul in two, thus rendering my upper half to a tornado and with my lower, i lowered myself to that of a squatting dog, dare i say sucking up his own vomit.
This is my story...........DENISE. SOURCE : [Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien][Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir cette image][Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien][Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien][Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien][Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir ce lien]Susan Moonsie
Moonsie became a member of Vanity 6 in 1982. Susan was given a "teenage Lolita" image by Prince, for shock value—Susan claimed she was only 16-years-old at the time, although she was 23-years-old when the group was formed.
Prince is said to have written the song "When Doves Cry" about their relationship. "Private Joy" was also supposedly written about her. Which was true, they became very close on the 1980-81 Dirty Mind Tour and she was easily his main girlfriend until he met Vanity (Denise Matthews) in January 1982.[Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir cette image][Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir cette image]BRENDA BENNETT
Brenda Bennett is an American singer from Boston, Massachusetts who married the musician Prince's set-designer Roy Bennett, and then became Prince's "wardrobe mistress." Bredna's maiden name is Brenda Mosher. She started off in a CBS Records band called Tombstone Blues Band. Years later through Roy Bennett; Prince gave her a "tough-girl, cigarette-smoking" persona and enlisted her in a girlgroup that he was attempting to create, Vanity 6, in 1982.
That group broke up a year later due to the departure of its lead singer Vanity, after only minor success. But Bennett stuck around for its reincarnation, with a new lead singer, as Apollonia 6 in 1984. Bennett's image in both of the groups was that of the bad girl: she smoked and had the most attitude.
Bennett also had a part in the film Purple Rain alongside Apollonia 6 members Susan Moonsie and the group's lead singer Apollonia.
Brenda Bennett can be heard on lead vocals on "Some Kind Of Lover," "A Million Miles (I Love You)," and "Blue Limousine" on the album Apollonia 6. She can also be heard on background vocals of the song "17 Days" that Prince withdrew from their album. The song became a B-Side of his single "When Doves Cry" as well as several other Prince tracks recorded while he was on under the Warner Bros. label.
In April 2007 Youtube displayed the Apollonia Film "Happy B.Day Mr. Christan". In this film Brenda features her solo song "Blue Limousine" from the Apolloinia 6 Lp. She runs through cars and sings about her missed lover who treates her unkindly outside a gas station and features Susan and 'Apples' in black leather working on cars.[Vous devez être inscrit et connecté pour voir cette image]