Vanity 6

From Prince Vault
Revision as of 15:25, 19 August 2011 by BLR (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Vanity 6


Vanity 6 is a electro pop/rock/funk girl trio formed in 1982. They were the first Prince protégées female group. The band was revamped into Apollonia 6 in 1984 when Vanity left and was replaced by Apollonia (actress Patrica Kotero) as band leader. Unlike many girls group, Vanity 6 purposely forecast a sexually charged and seductive image. The 3 members wore lingerie on records covers as well as on stage. The band imagery prefigure what became from the 90's to this day one of the many look a large amount of R'n'B and Rap girls groups adopted.

Original Band Members

Additional Band Members

Albeit The Time is credited as musicians on the eponymous album Vanity 6, Prince is the main musician on the album while Dez Dickerson provided guitar and drums work on various recordings. On tour The Time would play the music hidden behind a pink curtain. Jill Jones also provided backing vocals on stage.

Before working with Prince

The band was assembled by Prince from the summer of 1981 to January 1982. The original concept was to be called The Hookers, and would feature Jamie Shoop, his personal assistant, and his friend from high school Susan Moonsie. For a time, Susan Moonsie's sister was considered to be the 3rd member, but that never materialized since Prince shelved the project to fully commit to his forthcoming Controversy Tour in November 1981. After meeting Denise Matthews, a young Canadian model and aspiring actress, in January 1982, he proposed her to be part of the project, which she accepted. After Denise Matthews refused Prince's idea to rename her as Vagina, the name of Vanity came up, and the band name changed accordingly. Shortly afterwards, during the Controversy Tour, Prince found in Brenda Bennett, his set and lighting designer's wife (Roy Benett), a third band member for the project. She had been part of the Tombstone Blues band in 1973. Apart from her, none had any experience in singing before they started recording vocals for their first album.

Work with Prince

The band released only one album. Most of the tracks were recorded by Prince way before the band was assembled, with the help of Dez Dickerson. Vanity 6 had minor impact on charts, albeit efforts to broadcast the music, many radio programmers were reluctant to air the explicit sexuality in the band's songs. 4 singles were issued from Vanity 6, amongst them only Nasty Girl got significant success, mostly in clubs. The band performed vocals on The Time song The Walk on What Time Is It?. Although a second album was planned, the project materialized under the moniker of Apollonia 6 when Denise Matthews left the band.

After working with Prince

After leaving the Prince camp Vanity pursued an actress carrier and recorded 2 albums under her stage name. Brenda Bennett stayed in the new formed band, Apollonia 6 along with Susan Moonsie.

Current work

Denise Matthews abandoned the Vanity moniker and no longer worked in the music and film industry when she became a born-again Christian in the 1990s. Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie appeared in the movie Purple Rain: the former continues to perform background vocals in the Tombstone Blues Band, the latter didn't pursue any singing or acting career after the dismantle of Apollonia 6



  • 1982 Vanity 6 (Warner Bros. Records 23716)
Billboard 200 peak position 45 (31 weeks)
Billboard R&B Albums: 6 (36 weeks)
Certified Gold.


Year Song US Hot 100 US Dance US R&B Album
1982 He's So Dull - - - Vanity 6
1982 Nasty Girl 101 - 7 Vanity 6
1982 Bite The Beat - - - Vanity 6
1982 Drive Me Wild - - - Vanity 6'

Live performances

With Prince

  • One-Off Appearances
    • [[16_March,_1983-am|16 March, 1983 (am) Bloomington, Minnesota, USA - Registry Hotel

With Prince's Associates

  • None