Denise Katrina Matthews (born January 4, 1959), better known as Vanity and sometimes credited as Denise Matthews-Smith and D.D. Winters, is a Canadian-born former singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and model. Vanity’s career lasted from the 1980s until the early mid-’90s. She was the lead singer of the female trio Vanity 6, which recorded the 1982 R&B hit “Nasty Girl”.
In 1980, she met Prince at the American Music Awards. Prince renamed her Vanity because, he said, he saw his female reflection when he looked at her. After learning that Vanity could sing, Prince asked her to become the lead singer of the group Vanity 6. In late 1982, the group went on the 1999 tour with Prince and The Time until spring 1983. Vanity 6 made headlines and gained a following with their provocative performances during the tour.
After one album, Vanity decided to leave Vanity 6. She did not appear in the film Purple Rain in 1983. Several songs for Vanity 6’s proposed second album were recorded. They were later released as bootlegs.
Vanity signed a record deal with Motown Records in 1984 and recorded two solo albums, Wild Animal and Skin On Skin. Extended versions of the single “Pretty Mess” from Wild Animal b/w “Mechanical Emotion,” which featured Morris Day, were released as a 12″ by Motown. Her solo albums were moderate successes. Her biggest hit was “Under the Influence” from her 1986 album Skin On Skin.
The US 12″ of “Under The Influence” featured remixes by John Morales & Sergio Munzibai.
Under The Influence (Mid-Day Mix – Vocal) 6:25
Under The Influence (Early Morning Mix – Dub) 5:41
Under The Influence (Late Night Mix – Vocal) 5:45
Wild Animal 4:39