Sheila E. Sheila Escovedo (born December 12, 1957), better known as Sheila E., is the daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. She made her debut with jazz pianist George Duke. She is a remarkable drummer and percussionist and also plays violin. She had also played with Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross by the time she was in her early twenties. Escovedo is Mexican and African American.
Though taken under Prince's wing, she proved to be a first-rate artist in her own right. In 1984 she scored hits with "The Glamorous Life" (Hot 100 #7, and regarded as something of an '80s classic), "The Belle Of St. Mark" (#34) and "A Love Bizarre" (#11). Sheila E. was nominated for American Music Awards and Grammys for "The Glamorous Life," and opened for Prince on his wildly successful Purple Rain Tour in 1984-85. Sheila recorded three albums during the '80s, The Glamorous Life, Romance 1600, and Sheila E. She appeared in two films, Krush Groove with Run-DMC, LL Cool J and Blair Underwood in 1985 and Prince's concert film, Sign 'O' the Times in 1987.
During the Sign 'O' the Times and Lovesexy period of Prince's career, she served as his drummer and musical director in his highly regarded backup band, dubbed the New Power Generation not long after her departure. She also served as a writer and musician on many of Prince's records, as well as on the albums of his protĂ©gĂ©es such as Apollonia 6. After leaving the Prince organization in 1989, Sheila recorded a few more albums, Sex Cymbal, Writes of Passage, and Heaven. However, a serious issue with her health at the time prevented her from promoting Sex Cymbal, and the album garnered little attention.
In February 2006 Sheila performed with Prince once again at the Brit Awards.
Sheila E. is the business partner of singer and former Bride of Funkenstein, Lynn Mabry. They formed a foundation for abused children called the Lil Angel Bunny Foundation, where Sheila E. has very quietly done a great deal of charity work.
Sheila E's uncle is Alejandro Escovedo, formerly with Delphine Neid's first-wave punk rock group The Nuns, now with The Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra.