Remembering Vanity Five Years Later

Denise Matthews was a model, actress, singer, songwriter, and dancer, and she left a blazing mark on the cultural landscape of the ‘80s. If the name isn’t familiar, it’s because we came to know her as Vanity, so christened by her one-time boyfriend and bandmate, Prince.

She started out competing in beauty pageants in her native Canada. A modeling career brought her to New York in 1978, where she did some commercials and a couple of movie roles before meeting Prince. The details of their first encounter vary: some say she was there for work, others that they met at an afterparty, but at some point in the

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