“A truly sad day for all of us who have been a part of the Prince Family,” the actress and singer tells TheWrap
As music fans mourn Vanity, the Prince protege known for “Nasty Girl,” her friend Apollonia Kotero shared her deep remorse over the loss.
“With a heavy heart I write this. Today marked the end of an era for me. My friend, Denise ‘Vanity’ Matthews, has died,” Apollonia (above right) said in a statement to TheWrap on Tuesday.
“A truly sad day for all of us who have been a part of the Prince Family. Vanity was an inspiration for me and for all the ladies of the Family who followed,” added the star of Prince’s 19
“My only solace is that Denise is at peace, no longer in pain, and in the Hands of God. Rest in Bliss, Princess.”
Born Denise Katrina Matthews in Canada, Vanity died in a Fremont, California, hospital on Monday after suffering kidney failure and having recently battled abdominal illness. Last year, the singer put up a GoFundMe page, stating that she was diagnosed with an inflammation of the small intestines called sclerosis encapsulating peritonitis.
In addition to performing music, Matthews also enjoyed a successful acting career, with roles in the films “The Last Dragon,” “52 Pick-Up” and “Action Jackson.”
Matthews struggled with past drug abuse, which took its toll on her health. At one point she suffered renal failure, and, according to a Jet feature on the singer, required peritoneal dialysis five times a day.
Apollonia landed the lead role in”Purple Rain” when Vanity resigned from the band Vanity 6 — which was then remained Apollonia 6 for the film. Kotero also left Prince’s camp in 1985 to appear on the CBS primetime soap opera “Falcon Crest,” again going by her real name, playing the girlfriend of Lorenzo Lamas‘ character.