Sheila Cecilia Escovedo, best known by her stage name Sheila E., was born in the U.S. on December 12, 1957. Commonly referred to as The Queen of Percussion, she started her career in the middle of the 1970s as a singer and percussionist with The George Duke Band. She started a lucrative solo career after quitting the band in 1983, starting with her critically praised debut album, which featured the song that would define her career, ‘The Glamorous Life.’ Come, celebrate with us on her special day!
Sheila Cecilia Escovedo was born in Oakland, California, and is the daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo and Juanita Gardere. Her father is of Mexican-American ancestry, while her mother is of a Creole-French/African background. Together with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson, Escovedo made her recording debut in 1976 with “Yesterday’s Dream.” She had already shared the stage with George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross by the time she was in her early 20s. She joined The George Duke Band in 1977. The albums “Don’t Let Go” (1978), “Follow the Rainbow” (1979), “Master of the Game” (1979), and “A Brazilian Love Affair” (1980) all featured her. Escovedo and her father jointly recorded the song ‘Happy Together’ in 1978 on Fantasy Records under the names Pete and Sheila Escovedo. She had an important appearance on the Herbie Hancock album “Monster” in 1980. She was a drummer on Marvin Gaye’s final concert tour, ‘Midnight Love Tour,’ which began in 1983.
Escovedo and her father were playing at a concert in 1977 when Prince Rogers Nelson happened to be there. Eventually, they would work together on the “Purple Rain” recording sessions. Despite being under Nelson’s tutelage, she showed herself to be a talented artist in her own right. She released her debut album, “The Glamorous Life,” in June 1984. ‘The Glamorous Life,’ the album’s lead single, reached its highest point on the Hot 100 chart at number seven and topped the dance charts for two weeks in August 1984. Three M.T.V. Award nominations for Best Female Video, Best New Artist, and Best Choreography came from the song’s music video. Additionally, she was nominated for two Grammy Awards — Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. She published “Romance 1600” in 1985. The second single from the album, ‘A Love Bizarre,’ became her anthem and peaked at number 11 on the Hot 100 while also dominating the dance charts. Later, she worked with Prince as his drummer and musical director throughout the band’s tours from 1987 to 1989. Her debut album, “Sheila E.,” was published in July 1987.
Peter Michael and Escovedo worked together on her 1991 album “Sex Cymbal.” She experienced some health issues shortly after its publication, which kept her out of the public eye for several years. She participated in a few recording sessions during the ensuing years until joining Namie Amuro’s touring band in 1996. She served as Magic Johnson’s bandleader and sidekick on his disastrous syndicated chat program “The Magic Hour” in 1998. With “Writes of Passage,” the first of two albums for Concord Records, she started recording again in 2000. Escovedo consistently performed live and in the studio during the 2000s. C.O.E.D., which stands for Chronicles of Every Diva, was founded by her in 2006 along with Cassandra O’Neal, Kat Dyson, and Rhonda Smith. C.O.E.D. went on tour and released a self-titled album online. Her first album in 12 years, “Icon,” was published in 2013; previously only available in the U.K., it was made available internationally in 2014. She made a comeback three years later with “Iconic: Message 4 America,” a new album with cameo appearances from Ringo Starr, George Clinton, and Candy Dulfer.
Together with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson, Escovedo makes her recording debut with 'Yesterday's Dream.'
Escovedo is a drummer on Marvin Gaye's final concert tour, ‘Midnight Love Tour.’
She releases her debut album, "The Glamorous Life.”
Escovedo is nominated for two Grammy Awards — Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
C.O.E.D., which stands for Chronicles of Every Diva, is co-founded by her.
Escovedo makes a comeback with "Iconic: Message 4 America," a new album with cameo appearances from Ringo Starr, George Clinton, and Candy Dulfer.
Why We Love Sheila E.
She comes from a celebrity family
Alejandro Escovedo is her uncle, and Tito Puente is her godfather. She is also the niece of Mario Escovedo, the frontman of the enduring indie rockers, The Dragons, and Javier Escovedo, the founding member of the influential San Diego punk band The Zeros. She is also Coke Escovedo's niece, a member of the band Azteca, and a former member of Santana. Her biological niece Nicole Richie is the child of her musician brother Peter Michael Escovedo.
She is determined
Escovedo has complete authority over her life. Since she began banging pots at the age of three in an attempt to imitate her percussionist father Pete Escovedo's sounds; she has been utterly committed to her ambitions. She wanted an Olympic gold medal when she was 13 years old since she was a rising track star. Her interest in music came when she was 15 years old, and the title tune of her debut album, "The Glamorous Life," received numerous Grammy nominations.
She is multi-talented
Escovedo is a talented percussionist and singer. She is also considered one of the best female drummers alive.
5 Surprising Facts
She was raped
Escovedo has admitted publicly that her teen babysitter sexually assaulted her when she was five years old, and this incident had a significant impact on how she developed as a child.
She is a Christian
The singer’s upbringing was Catholic.
She was a judge
She made a comeback to television in 2007 as a judge on Fox's "The Next Great American Band" music competition.
She participated in a show
In 2009, she won the competition on C.M.T.'s reality music series "Gone Country."
She wrote a book
Escovedo released a memoir titled "Beat of My Own Drum.”
Sheila E. FAQs
Did Escovedo love Prince?
The two developed a romantic relationship.
What race is Escovedo?
She is of Mexican and French Creole ancestry.
Is Escovedo an actor?
Yes, she portrayed Lobbin’ Bob.
Sheila E.’s birthday dates