Sheila E. is a music industry icon who played an integral part in the personal and professional life of Prince. she influenced generations of extraordinary women in entertainment through her successful career as one of very few female drummers to rise to prominence. Tapped as one of a handful of legendary musicians chosen to pay tribute to Prince at the 2016 BET Awards, the powerhouse percussionist is truly one of a kind and continues to set the standard for longevity and pure talent in the industry.
Let’s a take a look at a few of the most interesting facts about Sheila E, who performed to play tribute to Prince at the 2016 BET Awards.
1. In addition to Prince, Sheila E has collaborated with a laundry list of other iconic entertainers including Lionel Richie, Beyonce, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Kanye West and Jennifer Lopez.
2. She’s originally from Oakland, California.
3. She comes from a family of musicians, including two uncles who headed up notable punk and indie rock bands in the California area.
4. Nicole Richie is Sheila E’s biological niece. Nicole’s father is Sheila’s brother Peter Michael Escovedo, who is also a musician.
5. She has released 7 studio albums over the course of her 40-year career in music
6. In 2001, she won the CMT reality show “Gone Country.”
7. She served as both the writer and musician on a number of Prince’s recordings, including his iconic Purple Rain album.
8. Sheila E & Prince were briefly engaged in the late 80s.
9. In 2002, Sheila collaborated with Beyonce on her single “Work It Out” from the Austin Powers: Goldmember Soundtrack
10. She took the stage at Coachella to perform alongside Prince and Morris Day in 2008.
11. In 2012, she performed on both Dancing With The Stars and alongside Pharrell Williams on the Academy Awards.
12. Sheila E was devastated by Prince’s passing, telling ET: “My emotions, you know, I’m trying not to process it,” she admits. “I’m trying to ignore the fact it is true, and I’m not looking at television. I can’t see his face on television. It’s just surreal, and it makes it reality when I see it.”
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13. Earlier this year, Billboard’s Linda Perry foolishly deemed Sheila “not relevant enough” to participate in the Billboard Awards Prince tribute, despite her 30+ year personal history with him and thriving career in the music industry.
14. Sheila’s most recent work can be heard on the soundtrack for the 2016 blockbuster Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.