Wednesday, February 9, 2011

HOLA Legends: Sheila E.

Sheila E., born Sheila Escovedo, born December 12, 1957, is an American-born singer, drummer and percussionist of Mexican and African American descent, perhaps best known for her work with Prince and Ringo Starr.

The daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs, music runs deeply in her family. 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 violin and guitar.

Prince met her at a concert in 1978, when she was performing with her father. After the show, he met her and told her prophetically that one day she would join his band. The two would eventually join forces during the Purple Rain recording sessions. She later served as his drummer and musical director in Prince's backup band. Though taken under Prince's wing, she proved to be a successful artist in her own right, with several albums and American Music Award and Grammy nominations. She appeared in the films Krush Groove, Sign 'O' The Times, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Chasing Papi.

She has performed three stints with 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. She has also performed with Phil Collins, Cyndi Lauper and Gloria Estefan.

She is the business partner of singer and former member of The Brides of Funkenstein, Lynn Mabry. Together they formed a foundation for abused children called the Elevate Hope Foundation.

She currently performs with her family in a band named appropriately enough The E Family Band. They have just worked on a CD named Now & Forever.

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Music video for her big hit "The Glamorous Life"

Music video for "Sex Cymbal"

Singing "Lady Marmalade" live on "The Arsenio Hall Show"

Performing "Descarga" with her father Pete Escovedo and godfather Tito Puente

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