1980s Pop Star Vanity Dies at 57

by Erin Calabrese /  / Updated 

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Eighties pop star and Prince protege Vanity died Monday. She was 57.

Image: Vanity in 1983
Vanity performs with the group Vanity 6 on "Solid Gold" circa 1983.Ron Wolfson / Courtesy Everett Collection

Gisela Hernandez, director of community relations at Washington Hospital Health Care System, confirmed that the singer passed away at the hospital in Fremont, California. Hernandez could not say exactly when or how she died.

Born Denise Katrina Matthews, she sang in girl band Vanity 6. She also played Laura Charles in the cult urban-kung-fu classic "The Last Dragon" and Sydney Ash in "Action Jackson."

She set up a GoFundMe asking for financial support a few months ago after a long battle with kidney failure stemming from a drug overdose in 1994 required her to undergo daily dialysis.

Vanity died after a battle with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis (SEP) more recently, which causes an inflammation of the small intestines, compounded her health issues, according to TMZ.

On the GoFundMe page, the singer wrote about her trials and tribulations.

"I went into the emergency twice this week, boy it is not fun suffering in this body of weak flesh..." She wrote. "But Jesus is straightening out all my crooked places in my heart as i go thru this time of pain....i won't complain!"

Social media lit up with tributes from friends and fellow celebrities like Sheila E, Solange Knowles, Questlove, and MC Hammer.

Vanity was discovered by Prince in the early '80s.

Vanity 6 achieved fame with their hit "Nasty Girl."

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