Vanity 6 was an American female vocal trio assembled by American musician Prince in mid–1981.
Artist: Vanity 6
Title: Vanity 6
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Catalog# WB 57023
In 1981, Prince, himself a rising musical star, suggested that his three female friends—his girlfriend Susan Moonsie, Boston native Brenda Bennett, and Jamie Shoop form a girl group that would be called “The Hookers”. Prince’s vision was that the three women would perform in lingerie and sing sensual songs with lyrics about sex and fantasy. Prince had been wanting to mentor a girl singer or group since the late–1970s when he saw the film A Star is Born with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson.
The original trio recorded a few demos before Prince met the then named Denise Matthews, a model and Canadian B movie actress, in January 1980. Prince was so taken by her charisma that he decided she would be the perfect frontwoman for his “Hookers” project. Matthews was eventually re-christened Vanity. Prince had originally suggested that she use the stage name “Vagina,” but instead they agreed upon “Vanity.” Other versions of the story suggest that it was Prince himself who coined the name “Vanity,” as he said that looking at her was like looking in a mirror at the female version of himself. Around this time, Prince and Vanity began a romantic relationship. With Vanity’s arrival, Shoop was dropped from the group.
Vanity 6 is the 1982 self-titled debut studio album released on Warner Bros. Records. The group had been created by Prince as an outlet for his prolific song writing. All three women in the group (Vanity, Brenda Bennett, Susan Moonsie) shared lead and background vocals. As was typical for Prince’s side projects, he obscured his virtually complete responsibility for the production, songwriting, and instrumental performances by arbitrarily attributing the credits to other members of his musical stable or the fictional “The Starr Company”. “If a Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up)” was co-written with The Time member Terry Lewis and “Bite the Beat” was co-written with Jesse Johnson.
“He’s So Dull” was written by Dez Dickerson and can be heard briefly in the 1983 film National Lampoon’s Vacation. The “other woman” rap on the song “If a Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up)” is performed by Prince in an affected voice whose resemblance to that of The Time‘s lead singer Morris Day has sometimes led to Day being misidentified as the performer.
1. Nasty Girl (5:10)
2. Wet Dream (4:12)
3. Drive Me Wild (2:31)
4. He’s So Dull (2:32)
1. If a Girl Answers (Don’t Hang Up) (5:34)
2. Make-Up (2:40)
3. Bite the Beat (3:12)
4. 3 X 2 = 6 (5:24)