Sheila Escovedo, better known as Sheila E, is one of the most accomplished and hottest musicians of her time. Born in 1957, Sheila E’s career began at an incredibly early age when she performed a drum solo in front of 3,000 people at the age of five. Sheila E’s father, Pete Escovedo, was a great influence on her since he was a famous percussionist who initially played for Santana, and as his vision grew bigger he took steps to launch himself to the next level. Read more about Sheila E’s fascinating father at http://www.peteescovedo.com/home.html.
Sheila E’s official career began when she was 17 years old, recording on the “Yesterday’s Dream” EP with Alphonso Johnson in 1976. She went on to team up and play with artists such as Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross.
In the late ’70s/early ’80s Sheila E’s career took off when she met Prince. Prince was impressed with her skills that he assisted her on her first solo album, “The Glamorous Life.” From this album came a single by the same name, which went on to not only receive Grammy and American Music Award nominations, but the music video won the MTV Best Video Award.
After this, Sheila E joined Prince on his 1984-85 Purple Rain Tour, but she also continued to work on her own projects. Then in the summer of 1985, she released her second album, “Romance 1600”, which also did well and had a chart-topping single called “A Love Bizarre.” Sheila E had her own headlining tour the following spring.
In 1986 “Sheila E” was released, and she joined forces with Prince once again on his European tour for the album “Sign o’ the Times”, followed by a tour with the artist again in 1988-89 for the Lovesexy World Tour. Sheila E actually played a role as a writer on many of Prince’s songs, along with her contribution as a percussionist. The 1990s marked her departure from Prince and 1991 brought on her fourth studio album, “Sex Cymbal.”
Sheila E released two more albums 2000 and 2001 (“Writes of Passage” and “Heaven”) while she continued touring with a variety of other bands. In 2004 she rejoined Prince once again on his Musicology tour. Then in 2006, she toured with Ringo Starr of the Beatles. And over the last decade she has appeared on various soundtracks and presented or performed at various award shows.
Beyond her skills as a drummer, Sheila E has given so much of her time and dedication to changing the world and making a difference. She is currently involved with the Elevate Hope Foundation (EHF) which she co-founded in 2001. EHF is designed to help abused and abandoned children find a positive outlet through music and the arts, funding programs for them to learn the basics. You can read more about the organization at http://www.elevatehope.org/#
Sheila E has also contributed her talents to the Pediatric Aids Foundation and USA For Africa’s “We Are the World”, designed for African famine relief. She has created a line of children’s percussion instruments called The Sheila E Player’s series. She has been presented with several awards for her charity work, including but not limited to, the Imagen Foundation’s Humanitarian Award in 2004, the Angels Across America Award in 2004, and the Woman of the Year Award in 2005.
As you many of you know, Sheila E has a band with her brother and father. To learn more about the E Family and their music check out http://www.sheilae.com/. The E Family had a launch party of their CD “had a CD launched party at the Conga Room and we have a few images of this event to share with you. Be sure to check iTunes for their CD which is now available for purchase. The E Family is also touring in the Los Angeles this month. See the tour dates for more information.