Vanity 6

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Vanity 6


Band details

Assembled: 1982
Disbanded: 1983
Activity with Prince: 1982 - 1982
Live Performances
First live appearance w/Prince:
  • Summer 1982: Minneapolis, MN, USA – Nacirema
  • 19 October 1982: Minneapolis, MN, USA – The Taste
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:
With Prince:
  • None.
With Prince's Associates:
  • None.
Self Productions w/Prince:
  • Albums
1982 Vanity 6 (Warner Bros. Records 23716)
  • Single(s)
1982 He’s So Dull
1982 Nasty Girl
1982 Bite The Beat
1982 Drive Me Wild

Vanity 6 is a electro pop/rock/funk girl trio formed in 1982. They were the first Prince protégée female group.

The band was revamped into Apollonia 6 in 1983 when Vanity left and was replaced by Apollonia (actress Patricia Kotero) as band leader.

Unlike many girls group, Vanity 6 purposely forecast a sexually charged and seductive image. The three members wore lingerie on records covers as well as on stage. The band imagery prefigured what became one of the many looks a large amount of R‘N’B and Rap girl-groups adopted from the 90’s to this day.d

Line Up

Additional Band Members:
Albeit The Time is credited as musicians on their 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 provided vocals from backstage, singing Susan Moonsie’s parts, as Moonsie was not a very good singer.


The band was assembled by Prince from the summer of 1981 to January 1982.

Originally the group was to be called The Hookers, and would feature Prince’s personal assistant at the time, Jamie Shoop, Susan Moonsie (whom Prince was dating in 1981). Moonsie’s sister Loreen was considered as well and at the time they took few Polaroid photo’s with this line-up, with all three girls wearing lingerie and Jamie Shoop chain smoking.

Then shelved the project to fully commit to his forthcoming Controversy Tour in November 1981.

Whilst on tour Prince met Denise Matthews, a young Canadian model and aspiring actress. It is often reported they met at the American Music Awards in January 1982, but according to photographer Allen Beaulieu who was traveling on the tour she harassed the crew for backstage passes on various tour stops and eventually Beaulieu introduced her to Prince, who then proposed her to be part of the project. After Denise Matthews refused Prince’s idea to rename her Vagina, the name of Vanity came up, and the band name changed accordingly.

A third band member for the project was also found during the Controversy Tour. Brenda Bennett, his set and lighting designer Roy Bennett’s wife was on the tour accompanying her husband and doing hair and make-up for Prince and the band. She had been part of the Tombstone Blues band in the early-mid seventies. Apart from Brenda, none of the girls had any singing experience when they started recording vocals for their album.


The band released only one album. Most of the tracks were recorded by Prince with some help of Dez Dickerson, sometime before the band was assembled.

The Vanity 6 album had minor impact on charts. Many radio programmers were reluctant to air the explicit overly sexual lyrics in the band’s songs. Four singles were issued from the album, among them only Nasty Girl got any significant success, mostly in clubs.

The band is credited for performed vocals on The Time song The Walk on What Time Is It?, but that in fact was mostly Brenda Bennett, the only real singer in the group.

Although a second album was planned, that project ultimately materialized under the moniker of Apollonia 6 when Denise Matthews left the band.

After leaving the Prince camp Vanity pursued a acting carrier and recorded two albums under her stage name. Brenda Bennett stayed in the reformed band, Apollonia 6 along with Susan Moonsie.

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.


performances outside the 1999 Tour

  • Summer 1982: Minneapolis, MN, USA – Nacirema
  • 19 October 1982: Minneapolis, MN, USA – The Taste
  • 21 October 1982: Detroit, MI, USA – 20 Grand Club
  • 23 October 1982: Washington D.C. USA - Cramton Auditorium - Howard University
  • 25 October 1982: New York, NY, USA – The Ritz
Additional Information

See also Trivia

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