What A Week!!!!!…First Vanity Now Today Big Ang’ Raiola, ‘Mob Wives Star’ RIP

February 18, 2016

Prince Pays Tribute to Late Protege Vanity in Australia Concert

Prince paid tribute to his late protege,Vanity, during a concert in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, February 16.

The singer-songwriter spoke openly about his ex-girlfriend (real name: Denise Katrina Matthews), and told the audience that learning of her death on Monday was difficult.

“I’m trying to stay focused, it’s a little heavy for me tonight. Just keep jamming,” Prince, 57, told the crowd at the Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre, via news.com.au.

“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,” he continued. “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 ’cause she knew she was the finest woman in the world. She never missed an opportunity to tell you that.”

Prince discovered the late model-actress in the early ’80s, and recruited her for the girl group Vanity 6 along with Susan Moonsie and Brenda Bennett. As previously reported, Vanity died at the age of 57 from kidney failure and an abdominal illness.

The “Purple Rain” singer dedicated the song “Little Red Corvette” to her on Tuesday night. He joked about a fight they once had, too.

“‘You can’t throw me in the pool, you’re too little,'” he recalled her saying. “I probably shouldn’t be telling this story, but she’d want us to celebrate her life and not mourn her.”


via – US


Vanity, lead singer of the ’80s girl group Vanity 6, has died after years of battling kidney failure and, more recently, an abdominal illness.
Vanity, whose real name was Denise Katrina Matthews, passed away in a Fremont, CA hospital on Monday … according to sources close to her family. A few months ago she set up a GoFundMe page, and said she’d been diagnosed with sclerosing encapsulating peritonitis — an inflammation of the small intestines.
She also battled crack addiction in the ’90s, and after a 1994 OD her kidneys were shot. She had to undergo nearly daily dialysis treatments.

Vanity’s biggest hit came in 1982 with “Nasty Girl” … a song produced by Prince. The group toured with Prince on his 1999 tour, but she quit right after that. She went on to sign a solo record deal with Motown, and starred in movies like “The Last Dragon” and “Action Jackson.”
She eventually ditched Hollywood, quit drugs and became a born-again Christian in the mid ’90s. She remained active in her local church up until her death. We’re told she was in church on Saturday evening and told the congregation she was “ready to go home.”
Vanity was 57.

via – TMZ


Today It Big Ang’ Raiola, ‘Mob Wives Star’



(CNN)   Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, the flamboyant reality TV star who rose to fame on the VH1 series “Mob Wives,” died early Thursday after a battle with lung and brain cancer. She was 55.

“I am saddened to say that at 3:01 a.m., Ang lost her battle with cancer,” said Jennifer Graziano, creator and executive producer of “Mob Wives.” “She passed peacefully surrounded by friends and family.”

The announcement of Raiola’s death also went out on her confirmed Twitter account through a message posted “on behalf of the family” from Vinnie Medugno, who occasionally appeared on the reality show.

The VH1 series, which began in 2011, features Staten Island women connected to men with alleged mob ties. According to the network’s site, Raiola was the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, who was a reported captain of the Genovese crime family.

Far from shying away from the Mafia connection, her bio on the site said, “Big Ang always strived to be popular with ‘the mob.’ “

“She is what many consider a ‘mob moll,’ ” the bio said. “Owning many mafia hangouts over the years, she became like ‘one of the guys’ — even catching a case with some high ranking members of the mob.”

The New York Daily News reported that in 2001, Raiola served four months under house arrest after pleading guilty to selling cocaine.

Known for her raspy voice, large stature and love of plastic surgery, she quickly became a popular member of the “Mob Wives” cast.

Her success on that series led to the VH1 spinoff “Big Ang,” which focused on her life as proprietor of the Drunken Monkey Bar and Grill and Big Ang’s Secrets beauty salon, both in Staten Island. That show resulted in another spinoff, “Miami Monkey,” about Raiola opening an outpost of her bar in Miami.

In 2015, she and her husband, Neil Murphy, also appeared on the VH1 reality series “Couples Therapy.” The couple discussed the stresses on their then-six-year marriage, including her diagnosis of throat cancer.

Raiola told Radar Online in January that she and Murphy had split.

“I just felt like Neil just doesn’t do the right thing, and I don’t need to be with somebody who doesn’t support me, and I don’t need him,” she said. “And I just think that it’s done. I lost it. You just lose it.”

In February, Raiola’s sister, Janine Detore, appealed to fans to help raise funding for alternative treatment for the reality star.

“As you know my sister was diagnosed with stage 4 brain and lung cancer,” the GoFundMe page said. “Chemotherapy was started January 5th. On January 26th the doctor reviewed her CT scan and informed us that the treatment was not working, and in fact one tumor grew larger and the other tumors had no change.”

In addition to her sister, Raiola is survived by her son, Anthony Donofrio; her daughter, Raquel Donofrio; and two grandchildren.