Sheila E more than likely wasn’t going to be anything but a drummer; she was destined for it. The daughter of famed percussionist Pete Escovedo, niece of Alejandro Escovedo, and goddaughter of Tito Puente, Sheila grew up around drums and drummers he entire life.
Born on December 12, in 1957, in Oakland, California, Sheila took to the drums early on. She dedicated nearly every waking moment to practice, and at the age of 19, the practice paid off. Sheila made her album debut by playing percussion on jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson’s 1976 effort “Yesterday’s Dream”. Her contribution to Johnson’s music lead to many other opportunities with Lionel Richie, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, and the late Marvin Gaye. However, her most popular collaboration was yet to come.
In the early 1980s, during a concert in which she performed with her father, Sheila was approached by Prince who asked her to join his band. She accepted. The result was Prince’s maga-hit “Purple Rain”. Although Sheila stayed with Prince throughout the remainder of the 80s, and played on another great contribution from the Purple One (1987’s “Sign O’ the Times”), Sheila proved to be a successful artist in her own right by recording “The Glamorous Life”, “Romance 1600”, and “Sheila E”, all of which were successful and critically acclaimed.
Aside from Prince, Sheila is also known for her collaborations with Gloria Estefan, both of whom he jams and records with from time to time to this day.