LIVING THE GLAMOROUS LIFE
Sheila E. Brings Prince-Kissed Classics & More to The 80s Cruise
By Steve Spears
It’s nearly impossible to think of the ’80s without Sheila E. The famed percussionist was everywhere during our beloved decade – from singing background on Prince records, to co-starring in the big-screen rap classic “Krush Groove,” to her own solo career and the career-defining song, “The Glamorous Life.”
With her glow-in-the-dark drumsticks probably already packed for this spring’s party aboard The 80s Cruise, Sheila E. will bring her Prince-kissed classics and a whole lot more for cruise fans. But how well do you know the life of this famous drummer and songstress?
Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about Sheila E.
- THE NAME: Let’s start off with the obvious. What does the E stand for? Our iconic ’80s drummer was born Sheila Cecelia Escovedo in Oakland, Calif. If you’re wondering whether drumming was in the family genes, just ask her dad – veteran percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she often performs, or her godfather Tito Puente, an accomplished musician, songwriter and record producer.
- YOUNG START: Sheila E. got her start performing long before the ’80s began. At age 5, she was performing with her father. In fact, she plays the conga drums left-handed because she learned the craft from mirroring her dad’s movements.
- THAT SOUND: Chances are you’ve heard Sheila E.’s work without knowing it. Aside from Prince, she has performed with Carlos Santana, Lionel Richie, Herbie Hancock and even Michael Jackson. (Sheila E. played percussion on “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”)
- THE BOOK: In 2014, Sheila E. released her autobiography – “The Beat Of My Own Drum” – which contained the revelations that she was briefly engaged to Prince (maybe no surprise there) but also Carlos Santana. During a press tour in support of the book, she told interviewers she’d like to see her story turned into a movie someday and has even picked the actress she’d like to see portray her. Alas, she’s not yet saying who that is.
- STILL HARD AT WORK: In 2009, Sheila E. participated and won Season 3 of the CMT reality show, “Gone Country.” (The 80s Cruise host Dee Snider participated in Season 1.) And more recently, she has performed drums for several motion picture scores under acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer.