When Prince is LIFEEEEE! Part One: My Obsession With Vanity 6

April is here! And not only does it mark a transition in seasons it marks the anniversary of one of the greatest musicians of all time Prince. And if you ain’t up on your Prince we surely cannot coexist!

For the month of April I’ve decided to pay tribute to the Legend that is Prince Rogers Nelson. So each week I will be talking about all the reasons why I love this man and how he inspires me!


He’s been gone for two years now and the circumstances surrounding his sudden death have been fishy to say the least. But I don’t want to dwell on that, I want to celebrate the man who inspires so much for me including the title of this blog!

If you are unaware “Pretty Mess” is the title of a song by Vanity; for you youngins Vanity was a member of the overtly sexual female pop group Vanity 6 that was put together by Prince in the early 1980s.

Denise Matthews aka Vanity
Denise Matthews aka Vanity

I wasn’t alive when they came out but when I discovered Prince I discovered these chicks! And I fell in love. They don’t have the best voices but these chicks talk di tings and I’m here for it! Lol

It all started In 1981, Prince at the time a rising musical star, suggested that his three female friends—his then girlfriend Susan Moonsie, Boston native Brenda Bennett, and Jamie Shoop form a girl group called “The Hookers.”

Prince’s vision for the group would see the three women perform in lingerie and sing sensual songs with lyrics about sex and sexual fantasy.

Vanity 6
Vanity 6

The original trio recorded a few demos before Prince met Denise Matthews, a model and Canadian B movie actress, in January 1980. Matthews was dating another musical legend Rick James (RIP)  at the time but Prince didn’t give a shit! He persuaded her to be his and to ultimately join his girl group.

Prince eventually renamed Matthews Vanity.  And as the story goes they decided on that name because Prince always said that looking at her was like looking in a mirror at the female version of himself. The 6 part came from the total amount of breasts in the group.

Jamie Shoop eventually left the group and Vanity 6 was born! Their first single was “He’s So Dull” and appeared in the film National Lampoon’s Vacation.

The second single and my all time fave, “Nasty Girl”, was a hit on the R&B chart, peaking at number 7. The song was featured in the film Beverly Hills Cop, although it was not included on the soundtrack.

My girls and I used to listen to this over and over and dance in my living room with heals on every girls night,  it definitely spoke to us! lol

The third single was “Drive Me Wild”. Their self-titled album, Vanity 6 was released in 1982, it would  be their only release and was eventually certified gold. The group opened for Prince on the 1999 Tour.

In 1982, Prince chose his girlfriend Vanity to pose with him for the iconic cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Prince & Vanity Rolling Stone Magazine
Prince & Vanity Rolling Stone Magazine

In 1983, Vanity recorded a demo for a new song, “Sex Shooter”, and started preparing for her lead role in Purple Rain opposite Prince.

Prince & Vanity for Rolling Stone Magazine
Prince & Vanity for Rolling Stone Magazine

Prior to the shooting of the movie, later in 1983, Vanity abruptly decided to leave the Prince camp and relinquish her role in the film.

Many reasons were given for her sudden departure, including money, the end of their romantic relationship, and, most importantly, Vanity having been offered a lucrative solo deal with Motown Records.

The group continued as Apollonia 6 as Vanity was replaced by Apollonia Katero who also replaced her in Purple Rain.  Unfortunately, on Such A Pretty Mess we don’t recognize Apollonia 6.

In 1984 Vanity released “Pretty Mess” on Motown records.

A lot of people won’t understand my obsession but these ladies taught me that it was okay to be sexual, it was okay to tell a man exactly what you want and it’s okay to where whatever you want including lingerie. Lol

And If you know me you notice alot of my style comes from them!

When Prince is LIFEEEEE!!!

— Ms. Mesha Gaye


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