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Vanity 6 was a female vocal trio assembled by Prince in the early 1980s. They released one studio album, which blended the sounds of pop, New Wave, dance music, R&B, and funk.
In 1981, Prince, himself a rising musical star, suggested that his three female friends—his girlfriend Susan Moonsie, Boston native Brenda Bennett, and his personal assistant, Jamie Shoop form a girl group that would be called "The Hookers". Prince's vision was that the three women would perform in lingerie and sing sensual songs with lyrics about sex and fantasy. Prince had been wanting to mentor a girl singer or group since the late 70s when he saw the film A Star is Born with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
The original trio recorded a few demos before Prince met Denise Matthews, a nude model and Canadian B movie actress, in January 1982. Prince was so taken by Matthews' charisma that he decided she would be the perfect frontwoman for his "Hookers" project. Around this time, Prince and Matthews began a romantic relationship that lasted months. With Matthews' arrival, Shoop was dropped from the group. Matthews was eventually re-christened Vanity. Prince had originally suggested that Matthews use the stage name "Vagina"; she declined and renamed herself "Vanity" instead. Other versions of the story suggest that it was Prince himself who coined the name "Vanity", as he said that looking at Matthews was like looking in a mirror at the female version of himself.
With the new trio finalized, Prince renamed the group Vanity 6 (the number representing the group's breast count). He provided the group, now dressed in lingerie and high heels, with provocative songs (although within the album credits, group members were sometimes given sole writing credits). Their first single, "He's So Dull" did not do much on the charts, but did appear in the film National Lampoon's Vacation.
The second single "Nasty Girl" was a hit on both the U.S. R&B chart and U.S. Dance chart (where it hit number one), and it also made an appearance on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. The song was featured in the film Beverly Hills Cop, although it was not included on the soundtrack. "Nasty Girl" was also featured in the 1983 sex-comedy Private School. Members of the group also provided backing vocals on Prince's albums during their existence.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments