Matthews came to Prince's attention in 1981 while she was a nude model and the Minneapolis star was looking for females for a backing group that he first wanted to call The Hookers and have perform in lingerie.
According to the website, the singer - born Denise Katrina Matthews - had long suffered from kidney failure and recently battled abdominal illness. After an OD severely damaged her kidneys, she reportedly had to undergo almost daily dialysis treatments.
Matthews was the lead singer of the group Vanity 6, whose biggest hit was the 1982 single, "Nasty Girl". The following year, Vanity 6 split up, and Vanity tried her hand at a solo career.
In the years before her death, Denise Matthews dedicated her life to her faith and church.
Vanity did join Prince on Prince's "1999" tour, but Matthews left after that point, and went on to appear in films like Action Jackson and The Last Dragon.
Hollywood proved to not be Vanity's thing she gave up the entertainment biz as well as drugs and became a born-again Christian in the mid '90s. TMZ was told she was in church on Saturday evening, February 13th and told the congregation she was "ready to go home".