Vanitywas a female musical group which was formed by Prince in the 1980's. The group released one album which was a combination of pop, dance music, New Wave, R&B, and funk. In 1981 Prince suggested to his friends, Susan Moonsie, Brenda Bennett, and Jamie Shoop, that they form a group and call it, The Hookers. Prince wanted the girls to sing in lingerie and sing sensual songs with lyrics about sex and fantasy. He had wanted to form a girl group since the 1970's. The three girls recorded a few demos and then Prince met Denise Matthews, a nude model and B-movie actress in Canada.In 1982 Prince decided that Denise would be the lead singer of the group and the two also began an affair. Jamie Shoop left the group so it was back to three again. Prince wanted denise to use the stage name, Vagina (pronounced Va-geena). Denise refused to use the name so it was decided that she would use the name, Vanity. It is not clear if the name was Denise’s idea or Prince’s. Some say that Prince thought of the name because Denise reminded him of a female Prince when he looked in the mirror. Prince renamed the group Vanity 6 which, to him, represented 6 breasts. He gave them provocative songs to sing. The first single was, He’s So Dull, and it did not get any attention. Their second single was, Nasty Girl, and it was a hit on the U. S. R&B and it hit number one on the U. S. Dance Chart. It was also on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles Chart. The song was also featured on the movie, Beverly Hills Cop but was not on the soundtrack.
Drive Me Wild, was their third single and it was just a minor hit. All three songs had music videos recorded with them. Their one and only album was certified gold. The group did the opening acts for the Thriple Threat Tour, from 1982 to 1983. Prince chose the Vanity 6 group to pose with him in a photo for the cover of the Rolling Stone’s magazine and the members of his group were not too pleased about it. The issue also included a two page Avedon of the Vanity 6.
Vanity recorded a demo in 1983 for a new song called Sex Shooter. She also started reading for her lead role in Purple Rain opposite Prince. Later she changed her mind and decided to leave and give up her role in the film. She was offered a solo deal by Motown records so this was part of the reason for her sudden departure. Her relationship with Prince had also ended. Patty Kotero replaced Vanity and the group changed their name to Apollonia 6 and their album they released in 1984 outsold the Vanity 6 album.
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