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Shelia E.
Sheila E.
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Prince / Pete Escovedo / Tito Puente
  • Country: United States

Sheila Escovedo was born into a musical family as the eldest child of Pete and Juanita Escovedo. She started playing with the family instruments at the age of 3.

Sheila was obviously influenced by her father, Latin jazz legend and timbalero, Pete Escovedo (then band leader of the influential band Azteca) while watching him rehearse. At 5 years old, she made her concert "debut" at the former Sands Ballroom in Oakland, as she was invited on stage by her father to play a solo in front of an audience of 3,000.

From age 17, Sheila has recorded and toured extensively with renowned artists such as Babyface, Billy Cobham, Natalie Cole, George Duke, Pete Escovedo, Gloria Estefan, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Nicks, Patti LaBelle, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Ringo Starr, Tito Puente, Don Was, Stevie Wonder and countless others, but to name a few.

In 1983, Sheila caught the attention of Prince and changed her name to "Sheila E." Prince helped her record her first solo album, "The Glamorous Life". The first single from that album, was released in the spring of 1984 and earned popular and critical acclaim. This single went on to receive multiple Grammy and American Music Award nominations, and won MTV's Best Video Award.

Over the next 9 years Sheila released 4 more albums, "Romance 1600" and "Romance 1600 Live" in 1985, and "Sheila E." in 1986, "Sex Cymbal" in 1991, all while touring and playing drums and percussion with both Prince and her father Pete.

Sheila's own band, the E-Train, started in 1994 and played a mixture of soul, Latin jazz, funk, fusion and gospel toured in Europe in 1994, and finally released a CD, entitled "Writes of Passage" in 1998.

In 1998, Sheila became the first female bandleader on late night television on Magic Johnson's variety show "The Magic Hour", and she co-wrote and co-produced the late night show's theme song.

Sheila has played on countless albums, including the soundtrack to "Prince of Egypt", featuring Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, successful Japanese artist Namie Amuro (whom she also toured with in 1996 and 2002) and Gloria Estefan's hugely successful "Mi Tierra".

Among her other notable appearances, Sheila performed at the 35th Annual Academy Awards with the incomparable Placido Domingo, the 1996 Summer Olympics and was featured in the "all girl" Grammy production opening number featuring Ellen De Generes. Other notable performances included MTV Unplugged with Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, and "The Concert of The Americas", where past and present U.S. Presidents and their families were in attendance. She performed with Prince, Wendy & Lisa at the 2006 Brit Awards with a viewing audience of over 20 million.

In 2004 Sheila joined Prince on the "Musicology" tour, which was seen by 1.5 million people. She also performed "The Glamorous Life" at the 7th Annual VH1 Divas, a benefit concert for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation that was televised worldwide. In the summer of 2006 Sheila returned for the third time and toured in concert with the legendary Ringo Starr.

Currently, Sheila is an advocate for, and continues to devote her talents and time to the Elevate Hope Foundation (EHF), a charitable organization (which she is co-founder and co-chair) that assists the needs of abused and abandoned children through music therapy.

Besides her charitable work through the Elevate Hope Foundation, Sheila performed on USA For Africa's "We Are the World", for African famine relief. She contributed her rendition of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" to the Pediatric Aids Foundation with 6 million CDs and videos sold worldwide for the project "For Our Children".

Her most recent CD release "Heaven" is an enchanting combination of adult contemporary, funk, jazz and inspirational tracks.

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