Prince paid tribute to his late girlfriend Denise “Vanity” Matthews during a solo show at Melbourne’s State Theater in Australia.
Vanity was Prince’s protege and the leader of the 80s band Vanity 6.
“Someone dear to us has passed away, I’m gonna dedicate this song to her,” said the music superstar to the audience before playing “Little Red Corvette” and “Dirty Mind.”
Prince also reworked the tune “The Ladder” to replace the name “Electra” with “Vanity.”
During the solo performance, Prince remarked in a story published by Press Party, “I am new to this playing alone. I thank you all for being so patient. I’m trying to stay focused, it’s a little heavy for me tonight.”
He then stated to the audience, “Just keep jamming … She knows about this one,” segueing into a version of “The Beautiful Ones.”
“Can I tell you a story about Vanity? Or should I tell you a story about Denise? She and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be. She and I would fight. She was very headstrong cos she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that,” he reminisced of his former lover.
The duo had one hit together with the iconic Prince/Vanity collaboration titled, “Nasty Girl.”
Vanity was reportedly going to play the lead in the Prince film “Purple Rain,” but was later replaced by Appolonia.
“She’d want us to celebrate her life and not mourn her,” said the music legend.
After her career high with Prince, the singer later developed a crack-cocaine problem during her relationship with Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, her boyfriend at the time.
She almost overdosed in 1994, suffering permanent kidney damage. After this near-death experience, Vanity became a Christian, abandoned her stage name and became an evangelist.
Matthews died on February 15 at the age of 57 in a Fremont, C.A. hospital. She had battled kidney failure and abdominal illness.