Sad news hit the Web Monday night just as the Grammy Awards were about to unfold: Drummer Sheila E. tweeted that her friend Denise Katrina Matthews, 57, better known as the singer Vanity, passed away.
Vanity, a protégée of music legend Prince and formerly of the girl group Vanity 6, died from an abdominal illness, according to TMZ. The singer had put up a GoFundMe page a few months ago in which she disclosed that she was suffering from an inflammation of her small intestines called sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis. Matthews had also struggled with failing kidneys since the 1990s.
The "Nasty Girl" singer was best-known for her racy outfits and striking looks and her turn as an actress in films such as Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon and Action Jackson.
Despite her successes, Matthews walked away from her career as an entertainer in the 1990s after years of struggling with drug addiction. She ended up finding Christianity and becoming an evangelist.