By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
The talented little angel named Sheila Escovedo was born on December 12, 1957 in Oakland California. But she maintains her stage name as Sheila. E.
Sheila E. was highly influenced by her father since he was a band leader and enjoyed watching him rehearse. At five, at the formerly known Sands Ballroom in Oakland, in a show Sheila was invited by her father to play a solo. She was so young but unafraid.
Age 17 onwards, she has recorded and toured on a wide basis with such artists such as Billy Cobham, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Natalie Cole and numerous others. She is all well known for her tie-up with Prince and Ringo Starr. Before she became a solo artist in 1984, she joined with Azteca, the Latin Jazz-fusion band led by her father percussionist Pete ‘Coke’ Escovedo. She also played on two of his solo albums which were recorded by Fantasy Records..
We had the opportunity to asked Sheila E. a few questions this week about her musical career and upcoming Tulsa performance and this is what she said:
You have been performing since you were five years old what would be your most memorable moment? Sheila E. stated: “My first memorable moment had nothing to do with music. I was in track and field in junior high school. I broke the record in 50 and 100 meter record and neither had not been broken in 20 years.”
What was it like working with Prince? Sheila E. stated: “It was amazing, challenging, fun, exciting and magical.”
Do you know anything about the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Sheila E. stated: “Yes, It was one of the worst racial massacres in the history of the United States and, here we are in 2019 dealing with some of the same issues. We cannot allow hatred to win.
What can we expect from your Tulsa Juneteenth show? Sheila E. stated: “The fans can expect a high energy, fun and exciting show. We will perform old music and new music. When you come to a Sheila E. show, you walk away with an experience of Love in Ur heart.”
Her first single and video, named Glamorous Life was written, performed and directed by her in 1984. It earned her a lot of popular and critical acclaim. Three months and it was running sold-out performances in Europe and the United States. Sheila began touring as the opening act for Prince’s 1984-85 Purple Rain tour.
Around 1983 Prince had her sing on “Erotic City”. Prince also assisted her in getting a record contract with Warner Bros. She released her debut album in the “Glamorous Life” in 1984 written by Prince and was nominated for American Music Awards and the Grammy. The title track hit the US Top Ten and her second single “The Belle Of St. Marks” was seen in both the American and British Top 40 charts.
Sheila has acted in three Films, Krush Groove and Prince’s concert film “Sing ‘O’ The Times” in 1987 and Chasing Papi in 2003. Television audiences will be glad to know that her feature on MTV Unplugged with Kenny ‘Baby-face’ Edmonds is only a start. Magic Johnson’s late night talk show The Magic Hour features her as the first female bandleader on television.
Sheila and her partner singer Lynn Mabry formed a foundation for abused children called the Elevate Hope Foundation. She has been a hope for children, who have been sexually, physically and mentally abused.
Sheila is a multi-talented performer, producer, composer, an amazing instrumentalist and a great human being. Her contribution towards the field of music and percussion, has made her one of the greatest stars.
Tulsa welcomes Sheila E., and looks forward to an awesome evening with the star under the stars on Greenwood.