Vanity – Vanity File Photos – London – London, UK – Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos

Birth Name: Denise Katrina Matthews

Date of Birth: January 4, 1959

Place of Birth: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Date of Death: February 15, 2016

Place of Death: Fremont, California, U.S.

*father – African-American
*mother – Polish, German, and/or Jewish

Denise Katrina Matthews, better known as Vanity, was a Canadian singer, songwriter, dancer, model, actress, and Christian evangelist.

Denise was the daughter of Helga Senyk and James Levia Matthews.

Her father, an American from Wilmington, North Carolina, was African-American. He is also said to have had Native American and Hawaiian ancestry. This does not appear to be accurate. Her mother, who is white, is said to be of Polish, German, and/or Jewish origin.

Vanity’s paternal grandfather was Robert James Smith (the son of David Smith and Leomie Murray). Robert was born in North Carolina, and was African-American. David was the son of Arthur Smith and Annie Williams. Leomie was the daughter of William Murray and Malley.

Vanity’s paternal grandmother was Emily Mable Matthews (the daughter of Chancey Matthews, Sr. and Edna Everett). Emily was born in North Carolina, and was African-American. Chancey was the son of Violet. Edna was the daughter of Henry Everett and Eliza J. Bryant.


Birth record of Vanity’s father –

Vanity’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

13 Responses

  1. Sophii says:

    Change Vanity to her real name. Denise K. Matthews.

  2. Mr. Postman says:

    No Hawaiian or Native American in her genealogy:

    • follers says:

      Are these the right grandparents? bablah attributed different grandparents to her.

      • bablah says:

        I went by these records:

        Mable Emma Matthews I posted and Emily Mable Everett in the tree Mr. Postman posted is the same person. Maybe I got her father wrong, I assumed since she appears as Matthews in all the records that Chancey Matthews is her father.

        As far as the tree suggesting Albert Wright as Levia’s father, when you actually click on it, it’s says he’s actually his step-father, and Robert James Smith is still listed as biological father.

        It says in the Collaborate section
        ”Levia’s daughter, Patricia Dalton, got this information from Levia’s wife Kathryn. Levia’s parents were never married. Mable was fifteen years old when Levia was born, so her mother altered the birth certificate and put her own name, Emma Matthews on the certificate. The natural father was Robert James Smith”

      • Mr. Postman says:

        Her father’s tree is indeed complicated. Numerous marriages and couplings. But none of the people involved were Hawaiian or documented Native American. All were African-American.

  3. Jarap says:

    She looks like all of those things. She looks Asian, Black and White.

  4. bablah says:

    Vanity’s paternal grandfather was Robert James Smith.

    Vanity’s paternal grandfather was Mable Emma Matthews (the daughter of Chancey Matthews Sr. and Edna).

  5. gmillaz says:

    correction caucasian should be changed to white

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