Sheila E. Women’s T-Shirt
Finally, a way to show your respect for some of the greatest icons, legends and pioneers that paved the way past and present. Rock this gear in style and bring back the moments that made you, memories they gave you and/or lessons they taught you. Scroll down for a history lesson with some of our favorite clips.
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Sheila E – A Love Bizarre (1986) ♫
Sheila Cecelia Escovedo (born December 12, 1957), better known under the stage name Sheila E., is an American percussionist, singer, author, and actress. She began her career in the mid-1970s as a percussionist and singer for The George Duke Band. After leaving the group in 1983, Sheila began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “The Glamorous Life“. She became a mainstream solo star in 1985 following the success of the singles, “The Belle of St. Mark“, “Sister Fate“, and “A Love Bizarre” with the last becoming one of her signature songs. She is commonly referred to as The Queen of Percussion.
Sheila E. Talks Early Relationship With Prince, Childhood Trauma, New Music + More
Sheila made her recording debut with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson on “Yesterday’s Dream” in 1976. By her early 20s, she had already played with George Duke, Lionel Richie, Marvin Gaye, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Ross. In 1977, she joined The George Duke Band. She appeared on several of Duke’s albums including: “Don’t Let Go” (1978)”, “Follow the Rainbow” (1979), “Master of the Game” (1979), “A Brazilian Love Affair” (1980). Along with appearing on Duke’s “Don’t Let Go” in 1978, Escovedo and her father released “Happy Together” that year on Fantasy Records, sharing billing as Pete and Sheila Escovedo. In 1980, she appeared on the pivotal Herbie Hancock album “Monster“. In 1983, she joined Marvin Gaye‘s final tour Midnight Love Tour as one of his percussionists.
1984–1989: The Glamorous Life and A Love Bizarre
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 Andre Cymone “were just fighting about which one of us would be the first to be your husband.” He also 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 June 1984, she released her debut album The Glamorous Life. The album’s title-track single “The Glamorous Life” peaked at number 7 the Hot 100 and also topped the dance charts for two weeks in August 1984. The video for the song would bring three MTV Award nominations for Best Female Video, Best New Artist, and Best Choreography. She also received two Grammy Award nominations for Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Performance Female. Her second single “The Belle of St. Mark” charted at number 34 on Billboard Hot 100 and later became NME‘s “Single of the Week”. She also toured as the opening act for Prince’s 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. They would later become briefly engaged in the late ’80s, during Prince’s Lovesexy Tour.
In 1985, she released Romance 1600. The lead single “Sister Fate” peaked at number 36 on the R&B charts. The album’s second single “A Love Bizarre” became her signature song, peaking at number 11 the Hot 100 and also topped the dance charts. The non-album track “Holly Rock” made its way to live shows and into the film Krush Groove. Sheila later served as Prince’s drummer and musical director in his band during the tours from 1987 to 1989. In July 1986, her self-titled album Sheila E. was released. The ballad single “Hold Me” peaked at number 3 on R&B charts. 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.
1989–1992: Sex Cymbal
After leaving the Prince organization in 1989, Sheila E. collaborated with writers like Demetrius Ross, recorded and released an album, Sex Cymbal in 1991. The album spawned singles: “Sex Cymbal”, “Dropping Like Flies”, and “Cry Baby”. She began her tour in Japan which only lasted for a brief time. Shortly after returning to America, she developed severe health issues after her lung collapsed. She was left semi-paralyzed from playing drums in heels for long periods of time over the course of many years. Unable to promote and tour, her album Sex Cymbal suffered low sales.
1996–2005: Music directing
In 1996, she played in Japanese pop singer Namie Amuro‘s live band. The show at Chiba Marine Stadium was later made available on DVD. In 1998, she played percussion on the Phil Collins cover of “True Colors”. She was also the leader of the house band on the short-lived late night talk show, The Magic Hour, hosted by Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. in the late 1990s.
Sheila E. has performed three stints as one of the member “All-Starrs” of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, in 2001, 2003, and 2006. Her drum “duets” with Starr are a moment of comic relief in the show, where they play the same parts but he quickly falls behind, shrugs and smiles as she takes off on an extended percussion solo. Says Sheila E.: “Ringo truly is one of the greatest rock n’ roll drummers in the history of music. He enjoys the joke!”
In 2002, Sheila E. appeared on the Beyoncé song “Work It Out“. In 2004, Sheila E. toured New Zealand as drummer and percussionist for the Abe Laboriel Band. The same year, she also was featured on Tonex’s Out the Box on the song “Todos Juntos”. She also played drums on Cyndi Lauper‘s hit album of standard covers, At Last. She played percussion on the song “Stay“. Sheila E. joined Lauper on a live version of that song on VH1 Divas.
Sheila also performed at Prince’s One Nite Alone… Live! concert, Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas in 2003, 36th NAACP Image Awards in 2005, and on the Good Morning show in June 2006. In 2005, Sheila E. was a surprise guest orchestrating a band, in Amerie‘s “1 Thing” performances for The Lady Of Soul & World Music Awards.
In February 2006, Sheila E. performed with Prince (and Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman) once again at the BRIT Awards. Sheila E. performed at the Sonoma Jazz Festival in 2006 as part of Herbie Hancock’s band featuring Larry Carlton, Terrence Blanchard, Marcus Miller, and Terri Lyne Carrington.
Sheila E. – Sister Fate
Sheila E – Koo koo (extended)
Sheila E. at Prince concert in Oakland. Ca.
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Unisex, Women's Fitted