Like many, Prince was stunned to learn that his protegé, collaborator, and lead singer of Vanity 6, Denise Matthews a.k.a. Vanity, passed away at the age of 57. Last night, the Purple One honored his late girlfriend at the first show of his solo Australian tour in Melbourne. “Someone dear to us has passed away, I’m gonna dedicate this song to her,” Prince said. He then launched into an emotional rendition of “Little Red Corvette” mashed up with “Dirty Mind,” which are both songs from the time the two were together, according to AU News.
Later in the set, Prince reworked the lyrics of “The Ladder,” replacing 'Electra’ with ‘Vanity’ so that the lyrics became, “This Prince, he had a subject named Vanity who loved him with a passion, uncontested.” At the end of his show, he took a moment and addressed the audience, “I am new to this playing alone. I thank you all for being so patient. I’m trying to stay focused, it’s a little heavy for me tonight. Just keep jamming … She knows about this one.” He then performed “The Beautiful Ones,” which is another song from their time together.
Finally, the usually less chatty Prince asked the audience if he could tell them a story. “Can I tell you a story about Vanity? Or should I tell you a story about Denise? Her and I used to love each other deeply. She loved me for the artist I was, I loved her for the artist she was trying to be. She and I would fight. She was very headstrong cos she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that.” Catch Prince playing on tour in Australia with two more shows in Melbourne before he heads to Sydney and Perth.