Demons Wanted Me: The Testimony of Denise Matthews Formerly Known as Vanity


Denise Matthews 2 Facebook
Evangelist Denise Matthews, formerly known as actress, model and singer Vanity died on Monday Feb. 15, 2016.

Denise Matthews, the singer, model and actress formerly known as Vanity who toured with music icon Prince before giving it all up for Jesus in the early 1990s to become an evangelist died on Monday in Fremont, California. She was 57.

Her sister Renay Matthews confirmed her death with The New York Times and revealed she died as a result of health problems related to her kidneys. She testified about her kidney problems during a crusade in 1995.

“As I stand here without any kidneys in my body…I have given it up to Christ so much that I am not taking a kidney from another man or another woman. I am waiting on the Lord,” she said at the crusade. “He’s gonna put those kidneys by His hands in my body.”

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In an interview with Jet magazine in 1993 Matthews revealed in her very compelling testimony of her conversion that her drug use from her past life almost killed her and she suffered renal failure. She said doctors had given her three days to live but she found the Lord.

“Vanity was dying,” she said. “It was drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, that whole sexual thing. Vanity was praying to die because she was lost and hurting inside. God said you have to go through darkness until you find His light.”

For 15 years she explained, she was the victim of physical and verbal abuse at the hands of her father.

“For 15 years, he beat me badly… that happens in a lot of homes. The Bible says there will come the day when the mother will go against the father and children will stand up and shoot their parents. And it’s happening. Kids are shooting their parents. I wish I could see my father in heaven, but I won’t. He’s in hell,” she said.

This abuse she said, caused her to not think very much of herself but she covered how she felt.

“I always put on a show. I’m a mighty fine actress when it comes to that. I would wear a smile on the outside and come back and cry inside. I would truly hate what I was doing but I was all caught up in it. It’s like someone caught up in a lie who wants to tell the truth. You put this big façade up and you don’t want to give anyone the idea that you’re weak. I finally let it go and gave it to God,” she said. “I said, ‘I am nobody. I need somebody. Please help me.’”

She said she wore the façade when her former boyfriend Prince put her in the lead of the 1980s trio Vanity 6 which he founded.

“Prince created the whole Vanity 6 image. It bothered me at the time. I lied and said it was the image I wanted. I did it because he told me I had to do it. If I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t get paid. I got into it. I wanted the old Diana Ross image,” she said.

Denise Matthews - FacebookIt was while pretending to be someone she didn’t want to be she said, that she got involved in the wild life of Hollywood.

“I did cocaine. I tried men, women, everything. I didn’t snort cocaine, I smoked it.”

She would eventually leave Prince to go off on her own performing in films like “The Last Dragon,” “Action Jackson,” “Never Too Young to Die,” and “52 Pick-Up.”

“Torture was going on in my life and led me to the Lord. For 33 years, I was walking dead. I masked myself in clothes, makeup, anything,” she said.

“I was extremely wild. I found out that if you are not walking with God, the Devil will possess you. I prayed that God would take me because I was afraid of what would happen to my body,” she continued.

“Demons were coming into my bed and sleeping in my bed. Those things will happen if you’re carrying on like I did. I have a strong love for Jesus Christ. He delivered me from anguish, death and sin. I get excited by God. No man shall enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born again. I got rid of all the lingerie and cleaned house,” she explained.

In her final post on Facebook on Feb. 10, just days before she died, she noted: “I want everyone to remember what Jesus has done for me. I wrote a whole biography on the subject. ‘Blame it on Vanity’ My Lord ordained this testimony.”

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  2. Denise was a truly beautiful person. Not just physically, but as a human being. But because of her horrific past abuse, and the lack of recognition by her family, and closest people, she HAD NO CHOICE but to gravitate to the life which paid the most attention to her.
    Unfortunately, that Hollywood high rolling music life lifestyle EATS those people that need the most emotional support. And poor Denise NEEDED the support, and attention that Prince and Hollywood showed her. YEAHHHHHH I know, she smoked crack, and it’s all her own decision, and her own fault, BUT, you have to look at her as a person. WHERE THE HELL were all her friends, and Hollywood types when they saw she was headed down hill ? As much as I LOVE Prince, WHERE THE HELL WAS PRINCE while his former girlfriend Denise was sinking faster than the Titanic ? NOBODY, NOT ONE STINKING PERSON OF HIGH VISIBILITY OR POWER made an attempt to help save poor Denise. INTERVENTION by ANYBODY who gave a damn would have saved her life i’m certain. SHE DIDN’T WANT TO DIE. She just gave up… Who could blame her… With all her contacts, money and fame, SHE HAD NO SUPPORT NETWORK that would proactively try to help her and save her life. I AM SO SADLY BROKEN HEARTED that such a good person, and a woman of such unbelievable beauty has died from her body being ravaged by the horrors of MASSIVE amounts of Cocaine smoking. JESUS, HOW MUCH CRACK DO YOU HAVE TO SMOKE IN ORDER TO DESTROY BOTH OF YOUR KIDNEYS…. Think about it my friends. Denise was LOST, and in so much emotional turmoil, that she just smoked herself into oblivion to mask the deep emotional pain she was enduring. And after the wake up call that almost killed her, her body would NEVER RECOUP from the damage she unknowingly did to it.

    The BEST PHOTOS i’ve ever seen of Denise Mathews are the ones where she IS NOT VANITY. Yeah, I know, she was SEX to the max in most of her photos… Let’s face it, a TIGRESS beyond imagination. BUT THE GIRL, THE WOMAN, THE BEAUTIFUL PERSON THAT SHE REALLY WAS AND WILL ALWAYS BE, are all most visible in the photos where she only has a little bit of makeup on, and she’s showing us all that ever lasting smile that made her the Angel of MY dreams for sure. I would have done ANYTHING I COULD to help her and save her. What an awful loss to our world. SO SAD, AND I WILL FOREVER MISS HER SMILE…. Greg in Orlando

    • There have been some “gray” stories that he may have helped her out financially/hospital bills, but I don’t know if thats true or not. He was a Jehovah’s Witness who didn’t go around boasting about his charity work but some fans or people said that he did help her out (not sure if it was later in her life or when she was younger). Its very sad. I really wish she couldve had a happier life. She was beautiful inside and out.

    • you are so right. Where was Prince? Maybe he was really sick himself and wasnt even thinking correctly. The thing is the two died so closely together and he sang to her memory in Melbourne that i feel like those two had a super connection. I guess all we have left to say about these two beautiful people is to say RIP

    • Prince had his own issues and probably couldn’t help Denise. I wonder, though, if he felt as if could’ve did more for her after she passed.

    • I agree, Denise had stated that she hated pain. She had then cut her off that aspect and projected her shadow self onto others and demons. Axel rose once said that anyone in this business is damaged goods. Most celebrities get into the industry to fill the inner void due to abandonment issues So they look to fill it with admiration of the audience. Then the come down is hard. Not every person who’s is an addict came from an abudive household BUT everyone who was abused as a child becomes an addict. If not dealt with. Such is the case with ms Matthews In my opinion. Due to the pattern of abuse she became an easy target for the Hollywood predators. I read clips of her interactions with Nikki Sixx. And she sighted scriptures back then. What heals us is gods love not Jesus dying on the cross. That was an act of love. Not love. We all have a shadow side a dark side a demon. If we deny that then we block gods love for it is not acceptance of ourselves as we are that when we are healed and transformed. Denise had a lot of repressed Anger. That was her demon.

  3. To Greg, you must have missed the whole point of her testimony if you ever heard it! It’s because of prince and Hollywood that was leading her to death and destruction! The world ddnt care about her, why would they? And she ddnt need their help! Her help came from the lord! He saved her and pulled her away from the world. She was a new creature! Now she’s with Jesus Christ, the one who cares and who matters!

  4. I am truly sory she is no longer around , i am a 45 yr old addict struggling every day w addiction , a huge motley crue fan i was reading the heroin diaries by bassist and somgwriter nikki sixx who dated her and shared in her drug abuse in the 80s , i became very interested in her ,was planning to send her a email for her help and guidance through her ministry when i found out she died! I am sickened that she was taken so quickly as i discovered her ministry , how sad , at least she found the lord and had some peace in her life before she was called home … my thoughtd and prayers go out to her freinds and family

  5. Shall I tell you a story of Denise.I gave her the first bible and told her I love her.I watch her being constandly abused by her father.I saw her slowly withdraw from this world but I was with her always.As Denise grew older. she stop seeking me and found love in this world that belong to the evil one.I watch how Prince used her and allowed her to slowly descend into drug addiction(I mention Prince because he knew her story and exploited it,sadly it started with him).I was patient with Denise but she went to places that angels fear to go.I allowed the Devil to harm her but not to kill her.For Denise,this was the only way.Deep in despair she cried out for me and I awaited her with open arms.I listen to all her sins and how she asked for forgiveness.Her heart was breaking.I asked herto give-up her old world and everything in it and like Lot’s wife don’t look back.I stayed with her til the end. Denise have fought a good fight and kept her faith.Now awaiting for the first resurrection…can I tell you a secret watch the irony of Prince.

    • I definitely knew Prince and V had those conflicts but even Prince didn’t get his influence until he was much older. He said he also couldn’t be with her because back in those days he was considered uncool for not doing drugs with his friends and lovers and more importantly Vanity. It’s crazy because he was highly sexual but didn’t realize how that pushed her to more use. That whole lifestyle

  6. She was a grown woman who cried in her managers office that she wanted that life . You would have to be mentally retarded to not know what u are doing. She was a pig and chose to be that way. She could have sought counseling behaved like a lady and had a long career. Don’t act like Hollywood strangles you into submission. She wanted to be a junkie and pose nude

    • Yes, she was a grown lost woman who didn’t know Jesus, but look at God who is rich in His mercy and grace that saved her…We are all walking in darkness until God reveals His redemptive power. The counseling she sought that eventually gave her eternal life was Christ Jesus. Hollywood is dark and strangles you into submission because of who runs it ( Satan) But God! who has given us dominion by the power of His hands can rescue us . Denise’s sin was drugs and nudity,,but what is yours? We have all fallen short of the glory of God… REMEMBER Jesus said that no Fornicators, Adulterers, Liars , etc will not see the kingdom of God , not just drug users and playboy models…But by the stripes of Jesus we all have the opportunity to repent and come to God . The Lord casts all of our past sins away …Therefore, its not our past that defines us..We all WANT to be something that is not of God , but when we come to Jesus, all we WANT is to be like Him.

  7. I think Denise did a good thing testifying outwardly against the whole “fame” business. But near death has a way of becoming a springboard that propels you into another direction. But I say the only reason why she stayed away permanently is because she had no choice. She would have died for certain. She followed carnal Christianity in which they literally interpret the Scriptures. Which of course if false. But the fact is. every person on this Earth is part of GOD’s plan. Nobody made the choice to come into this world and wear its burdens. All evil was created by GOD. It is impossible for any “angel of light” to betray GOD and suddenly have powers to send out demons to piss off GOD. Thats man made stories. There is no Hell. The word Hell isn’t even in the Scriptures. All men are saved. Every single one. That’s a fact. SO you might ask, so if I decide to go kill someone, GOD will save me anyway? Let me tell you. You WONT kill anyone unless GOD wills it. Because there is no free will. Science proves that everything in existence is subject to the laws of Cause and Effect. You cannot do anything without being caused to do it. And that’s where GOD always comes in. As mysterious as He is.

  8. I would pretty much guarantee that Prince offered to help, but Denise said it herself – that she was waiting for God to giver her new kidneys. Regardless to what the beliefs are of others, this is what I know…we are all flawed at best but God continues to be merciful to us. I choose to remember Denise Matthews for all the good things she did in the name of the Lord and God knows our days even before they happen.

  9. I can’t believe some of the cruel comments here, “as you forgive, so shall you be forgiven”.., like Jesus said, ” let he without sin cast the first stone” Denise was a beautiful decent woman whom, as sick as she was, still tried to save other people from damnation…, RIP beautiful woman, servant of God

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