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Prince’s Muse for ‘Purple Rain’ Died Just 2 Months before Him – Story of Love Affair with Vanity

Oyin Balogun
Sep 16, 2021
01:00 P.M.
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Music legend Prince enjoyed a stellar career in the years that he ruled the music industry. One of his biggest songs, "Purple Rain," was inspired by a muse who died the same age as the legend.

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Prince was a significant force in the music world in the 80s and 90s. Apart from his songs, his romance with his muse, Vanity, proved to be a huge talking point in his life.

Both stars seemed to share the same fate and even died in the same year at the same age. Prince and Vanity had a deeply bonded relationship at the height of the "Purple Rain" singer's fame.

Picture of Pop legend, Prince and his muse for the song, "Purple Rain" Vanity | Photo: Getty Images

Picture of Pop legend, Prince and his muse for the song, "Purple Rain" Vanity | Photo: Getty Images

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Prince served as Vanity's mentor and helped produce some of her songs, including her 1982 hit, "Nasty Girl." The pair toured together and appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1983.

Vanity went on to reveal that she played a part in Prince's biggest song, "Purple Rain," and was slated to play the female lead role. Vanity noted that the role drew inspiration from her life.

Singer Vanity attends PCC Celebrity Art Show on September 11, 1991 at Stringfellow's in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images

Singer Vanity attends PCC Celebrity Art Show on September 11, 1991 at Stringfellow's in Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images

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The duo split before the filming began, and the role was handed to Apollonia Kotero. After parting ways, Vanity explained that she needed one person to love her, but the pop star needed more.

Later on, Vanity dismissed claims of bad blood on her side and revealed that she had let go of any ill-feeling. She added that she had high hopes for them and missed his sense of humor.

His greatest song, "Purple Rain," reportedly turned out to be the last song he performed before his unexpected 2016 death.

Prince Rogers Nelson at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas NV, USA 09-30-18 | Photo: Shutterstock

Prince Rogers Nelson at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas NV, USA 09-30-18 | Photo: Shutterstock

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Vanity, whose real name is Denise Matthews, began to face health problems after a near-fatal overdose changed her life. She later converted to the Christian faith and revealed she was now born again.

Her drug problem led her to develop kidney failure, which required multiple surgeries and treatment. A few months before her death, she also launched a GoFundMe page, where she revealed she had 23 surgeries over the years and underwent dialysis three times a week.

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Vanity died at age 57 from her health challenges. During a performance a day after her death, her former flame, Prince, paid tribute to her, noting that they once loved each other very much.

Prince would later die two months later, at age 57, from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl. He was found dead in Paisley Park, his Minnesota home and recording studio.

Prince's career spanned more than four decades in which he produced over 30 albums and won seven Grammys. His songs were said to have helped change the face of music in his time.

Prince ended his career in the most dramatic way. His greatest song, "Purple Rain," reportedly turned out to be the last song he performed before his unexpected 2016 death.

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