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As shocked as we all were to learn Denise “Vanity” Matthews, the lead singer of Vanity 6 and Prince protégé, passed away over the weekend, no one seems more heartbroken than her legendary mentor.

Prince met his first solo show in Australia with heartache, but he channeled his pain into the music. Honoring his late loved one and collaborator, Prince played several songs from the time he and Denise worked together, including a mash-up of “Little Red Corvette” and “Dirty Minds.”

Denise Matthews

At one point in the night, he also had this to say about the fallen star:

“Can I tell you a story about Vanity? Or should I tell you a story about Denise? Her and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be. She and I would fight. She was very headstrong cos she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that.”

May Denise rest in peace.



Prince Pays Tribute To Late Protégé & Friend Denise “Vanity” Matthews  was originally published on