Sheila E.

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Sheila E.
Background information
Birth nameSheila Escovedo
Born(1957-12-12) 12 December 1957 (age 54)
OriginOakland, California, U.S.
GenresPop, funk, R&B, Latin jazz, jazz fusion, Rock
OccupationsDrummer, singer, actress
InstrumentsVocals, percussion
Years active1976–present
LabelsWarner Bros., Paisley Park, Concord
Associated actsPrince, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, George Duke
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Sheila E.
Background information
Birth nameSheila Escovedo
Born(1957-12-12) 12 December 1957 (age 54)
OriginOakland, California, U.S.
GenresPop, funk, R&B, Latin jazz, jazz fusion, Rock
OccupationsDrummer, singer, actress
InstrumentsVocals, percussion
Years active1976–present
LabelsWarner Bros., Paisley Park, Concord
Associated actsPrince, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, George Duke

Sheila Escovedo (born December 12, 1957), known by her stage name Sheila E., is an American drummer and percussionist, perhaps best known for her work with Prince, George Duke and Ringo Starr.


Sheila's Biography

Early life and Prince period

Born in California, Sheila E. is the daughter of Juanita (Gardere), a dairy factory worker, and percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. Sheila E's uncle is Alejandro Escovedo.[1] Tito Puente was Escovedo's godfather. She is also niece to Javier Escovedo, founder of seminal San Diego punk act, The Zeros. Another uncle, Mario Escovedo, fronted long-running indie rockers, The Dragons. Escovedo is of Mexican and Creole heritage. Coke Escovedo, who was in Santana and formed the band Azteca, was also her uncle. Nicole Richie is Sheila E.'s biological niece.[2]

She made her recording debut with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson on "Yesterday's Dream" in 1976. By her early twenties she had already played with George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross. She also plays tuba and guitar.

Prince met Sheila E. at a concert in 1978, when she was performing with her father. After the show, he met her and told her that he and his bassist "were just fighting about which one of us would be the first to be your husband". He also prophetically vowed that one day she would join his band. The two would eventually join forces during the Purple Rain recording sessions. She provided vocals on the B-side to "Let's Go Crazy", "Erotic City" in 1984. Though taken under Prince's wing, she proved to be a successful artist in her own right. In 1984 she scored hits with "The Glamorous Life" (#7 on the Hot 100), and "The Belle of St. Mark" (#34), the latter an NME 'Single of the Week'.[3] She opened for the Purple Rain tour and there was a segment where she would have a man called up on stage and seated in a chair while she sang "Next Time Wipe The Lipstick Off Your Collar" and teased him (similarly mirrored by Janet Jackson during the "Rope Burn" segment of her Velvet Rope Tour in 1998/99.) Around the same time, the collaborating duo began a brief romantic relationship, while Prince was still seeing Susannah Melvoin, twin sister of The Revolution band member, Wendy Melvoin.[4]

In 1985, she released Romance 1600, scored another hit with the track "A Love Bizarre" (#11), and the non-album track "Holly Rock" made its way to live shows and into the film Krush Groove. She was also nominated for an American Music Award and a Grammy for "The Glamorous Life". Sheila E. recorded three albums during the '80s, The Glamorous Life, Romance 1600, and Sheila E.. She appeared in four films, Krush Groove with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and Blair Underwood in 1985, Prince's concert film, Sign "O" the Times in 1987, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Chasing Papi in 2003.

During the Sign "O" the Times, Black Album, and Lovesexy periods of Prince's career (including the Lovesexy World Tour), Sheila E. served as his drummer and musical director in his backup band, dubbed The New Power Generation not long after her departure. During the Sign "O" the Times era, she released the single "Koo Koo" from her 3rd album Sheila E., which had Sign "O" the Times member Cat as a backup dancer in the accompanying video. Sheila E. also served as a writer and musician on many of Prince's records, as well as on the albums of his protégés such as Madhouse.

Post-Prince and other collaborations

After leaving the Prince organization in 1989, Sheila E. recorded a few more albums, Sex Cymbal, Writes of Passage, and Heaven. However, the albums garnered little attention. This was especially true in the case of Sex Cymbal, since Sheila E. developed severe health issues that prevented her from touring in order to promote it.

In 1996 she played in Japanese pop singer Namie Amuro's live backup band. The show at Chiba Marine Stadium was later made available on DVD. In 1998 she played percussion on the Phil Collins cover of "True Colors." In 2002 Sheila E. appeared on the Beyoncé Knowles song "Work It Out."

Sheila E. has performed three stints as one of the member "All-Starrs" of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, in 2001, 2003, and 2006. Her drum "duets" with Starr are a moment of comic relief in the show, where they play the same parts but he quickly falls behind, shrugs and smiles as she takes off on an extended percussion solo. Says Sheila E.: "Ringo truly is one of the greatest rock n' roll drummers in the history of music. He enjoys the joke!"

She was also the leader of the house band on the short-lived late night talk show, The Magic Hour, hosted by Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. in the late 1990s.

In 2004, Sheila E. toured New Zealand as drummer and percussionist for the Abe Laboriel Band.

In 2004, Sheila E. was also featured on Tonex's Gold Album OUT THE BOX on the song "Todos Juntos". She also play drums on Cyndi Lauper's hit album of standard covers, At Last. She played percussion on the song "Stay". Sheila E. joined Lauper on a live version of that song on VH1 Divas.

In 2005, Sheila E. was a surprise guest orchestrating a band, in Amerie's "1 Thing" performances for The Lady Of Soul & World Music Awards.

In February 2006, Sheila E. performed with Prince (and Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman) once again at the BRIT Awards.

Sheila E. performed at the Sonoma Jazz Festival in 2006 as part of Herbie Hancock's band featuring Larry Carlton, Terrence Blanchard, Marcus Miller, and Terri Lyne Carrington.

She also performed at Prince's One Nite Alone... Live! concert, Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas in 2003, 36th NAACP Image Awards in 2005, and on the Good Morning show in June 2006.

In March 2007, she went on a small tour through Europe with her new band project called C.O.E.D. (Chronicles of Every Diva). C.O.E.D. consists of Sheila E., Kat Dyson, Rhonda Smith and Cassandra O'Neal. For several concerts she was joined by Candy Dulfer, who was billed as a special guest.

She performed at the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards with Juan Luis Guerra. She also performed at the ALMA (American Latin Music Awards) Awards in June 2007 with Prince, and on 7 July 2007 in Minneapolis with Prince. She performed at all three of his concerts: first, at Prince's 3121 perfume launch at Macy's, followed by the Target Center concert, and finally, at an aftershow at First Avenue.

In October 2007, Sheila E. was a judge alongside Australian Idol judge and marketing manager Ian "Dicko" Dickson and Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik on the Fox network's The Next Great American Band.

Sheila E. recently met with Prince on 29 March 2008, who sat in on (and played keyboard) on Sheila E.'s performance with her family at Harvelle Redondo Beach.

On 9 April 2008, Sheila E. appeared on the Emmy winning program, Idol Gives Back. Shelia E. took part in the show opener "Get on Your Feet" with Gloria Estefan. Dance troupe, So You Think You Can Dance finalists joined them on stage.

On 26 April 2008, Sheila E., along with Morris Day and Jerome Benton, performed with Prince at the Coachella Music Festival.

From 2 to 6 May 2008, Sheila E. played four sold-out shows at Blue Note Tokyo in Japan. This is the most frequented jazz music club in Tokyo.

On 14 June 2008, Sheila E. performed at the Rhythm on the Vine music and wine festival at the South Coast Winery in Temecula, California for Shriners Hospital for Children. She took the stage with the E Family, Pete Escovedo, Juan Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo. Other performers at the event were jazz musician Herbie Hancock, contemporary music artist Jim Brickman and Kirk Whalum.[5]

In February 2009, she was made an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority by the Eta Delta Chapter located at Howard University in recognition of her humanitarian efforts through and in music.

On 30 May 2009, Sheila E. and the E Family Band will once again take the stage to perform at Rhythm on the Vine at Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez, California for the Hot Latin Beats concert. Also to perform at the concert is Poncho Sanchez.[6]

On 13 December 2009, Sheila E. performed at the Deryck Walcott produced Christmas Jazz held at the Plantation Restaurant in Barbados.

Sheila E. is the business partner of singer and former member of The Brides of Funkenstein, Lynn Mabry. They formed a foundation for abused children called the Elevate Hope Foundation. [1]

Sheila E. has collaborated many times with other artists, notably with Gloria Estefan for whom she played the timbales. Sheila E. first collaborated with Estefan on Estefan's first Spanish language studio album Mi Tierra in 1993, and in 2007 with Estefan's smash hit "No Llores" in which Estefan also collaborates with Carlos Santana and José Feliciano. She also is one fourth of the band C.O.E.D. (Chronicles of Every Diva), who as of 2008 are touring overseas and released a CD available in limited distribution or through her website.

In 2009, Sheila E. won the CMT reality show, Gone Country. This gave her an opportunity to make country music aided by the country producer, writer, and singer John Rich. Sheila E.'s first song in the country market was "Glorious Train". A video for the song debuted on CMT on 7 March 2009, following the airing of the episode of Gone Country in which Sheila E. was announced the winner.

Sheila E. performed at Yoshi's in San Francisco on 15 August 2010 and she released an EP From E 2 U. It includes a song "Leader of the Band" written by Prince and it features Prince on piano.[7] She toured on his 20Ten Tour and Welcome 2 America tours.[8][9]

In 2010, Sheila E joined forces with Avon as a celebrity judge for Avon Voices,[10] Avon’s first ever global, online singing talent search for women and songwriting competition for men and women.

On May 25, 2011, Sheila performed alongside Marc Anthony in the American Idol Season 10 finale.

On June 7, 2011, she performed on the Late Show with David Letterman as a part of the show's first "Drum Solo Week".

On February 26, 2012, Sheila performed at the 2012 Academy Awards alongside Pharrell Williams and Hans Zimmer, playing the into and out of commercial segments.[11]

On April 17, 2012, Sheila was featured with "Macy's Stars Of Dance" on the DANCING WITH THE STARS results show. [12]

On June 16, Sheila will headline the 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. [13]

Sheila is currently touring alongside Sy Smith throughout Europe and the United States. Sheila will be joining Dave Koz on his 2012 Christmas Tour this November and December. 2013 will bring Sheila's much anticipated solo cd, as well as an autobiography. [14]


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart
1984The Glamorous Life287
1985Romance 1600
  • Release date: 1985
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
1987Sheila E.
  • Release date: 1987
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
1991Sex Cymbal
  • Release date: 1991
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
2000Writes of Passage
  • Release date: 28 August 2001
  • Label: Concord Records
  • Release date: TBA
  • Label: TBA
 colspan="10" style="font-size:8pt"| "—" denotes releases that did not chart 


YearSinglePeak chart positionsAlbum
US DanceUK[15]AT[16]IR[17]NL[18]NZ[19]CH[20]
1984"The Glamorous Life"791963The Glamorous Life
"The Belle of St. Mark"3468181585
"Oliver's House"
1985"A Love Bizarre"11217614916Romance 1600
"Sister Fate"10236
1986"Holly Rock"8Krush Groove (soundtrack)
"Love On a Blue Train" (Japan)Sheila E.
1987"Hold Me"68354
"Koo Koo"35
1991"Sex Cymbal"32Sex Cymbal
"Droppin' Like Flies"7723
1992"Cry Baby"
2009"Glorious Train"Non-album song

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Belushi Will Finally Get Hollywood Star
  3. ^ Parsons, Tony (1978) "Single of the Week", NME, 2 February 1985, p. 14
  4. ^ Alex Hahn (2003). "Possessed: The Rise And Fall Of Prince". Billboard Books. 
  5. ^ Shriners Hospitals for Children, "About Rhythm on the Vine," Rhythm on the Vine, 2008.
  6. ^ Shriners Hospitals for Children, "Hot Latin Beat", Rhythm on the Vine, 2009.
  7. ^ "Single: From E 2 U". Prince Vault. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  8. ^ "Sheila E. Is Out For Rest Of Prince Tour". 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  9. ^ "Audio & Video Of Prince’s "Welcome 2 America" Press Confusion…Er Conference". 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to Avon Voices". Retrieved 2011-02-20. 
  11. ^ Vessell, Matt. "News". mtvessell Design Studio. 
  12. ^ Vessell, Matt. "News". mtvessell Design Studio. 
  13. ^ Vessell, Matt. "News". mtvessell Design Studio. 
  14. ^ Vessell, Matt. "News". mtvessell Design Studio. 
  15. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 175. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  16. ^ MegaCharts (1 May 1986). "Austrian Singles Chart". Austrian Charts. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  17. ^ Irish Recorded Music Associationa. "The Irish Charts". IRMA accessdate=2010-07-18. 
  18. ^ MegaCharts (3 November 1990). "Dutch Singles Chart". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  19. ^ MegaCharts (7 April 1990). "New Zealand Singles Chart". New Zealand Charts. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  20. ^ MegaCharts (27 April 1986). "Swiss Singles Chart". Swiss Charts. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 

External links