Sheila Escovedo (born December 12, 1957), known by her stage name Sheila E., is a Grammy nominated American singer, drummer, and percussionist whose notable collaborators include Billy Cobham, Lionel Richie, George Duke, Prince, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Hans Zimmer and Kanye West.
Born in California, Sheila E. is the daughter of Juanita (Gardere), a dairy factory worker, and percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she frequently performs. Sheila E's uncle is Alejandro Escovedo.and Tito Puente was Escovedo's godfather. She also is niece to Javier Escovedo, founder of seminal San Diego punk act, The Zeros. Another uncle, Mario Escovedo, fronted long-running indie rockers, The Dragons. Escovedo is of Mexican and Creole heritage. Coke Escovedo, who was in Santana and formed the band Azteca, also was her uncle. Nicole Richie is Sheila E.'s biological niece, the daughter of Sheila's brother, Peter Michael Escovedo.
Sheila 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 guitar.
Prince met Sheila E. at a concert in 1978, when she was performing with her father. After the show he met her and told her that he and his bassist "were just fighting about which one of us would be the first to be your husband". He also prophetically vowed that one day she would join his band. The two would eventually join forces during the Purple Rain recording sessions. She provided vocals on the B-side to "Let's Go Crazy", "Erotic City" in 1984. Though taken under Prince's wing, she proved to be a successful artist in her own right. In 1984 she scored hits with "The Glamorous Life" (#7 on the Hot 100), and "The Belle of St. Mark" (#34), the latter an NME 'Single of the Week'. She opened for the Purple Rain Tour and the duo simultaneously began a brief romantic relationship, while Prince was still seeing Susannah Melvoin, twin sister of The Revolution band member, Wendy Melvoin.
In 1985 she released Romance 1600, scored another hit with the track "A Love Bizarre" (#11), and the non-album track "Holly Rock" made its way to live shows and into the film Krush Groove. She was also nominated for an American Music Award and a Grammy for "The Glamorous Life". Sheila E. recorded three albums during the '80s, The Glamorous Life, Romance 1600, and Sheila E.. She appeared in four films, Krush Groove with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and Blair Underwood in 1985, Prince's concert film, Sign "O" the Times in 1987 The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and Chasing Papi in 2003.