Sheila E.

Providing the backbeat to Prince's finest moments, legendary percussionist Sheila E. became one of the leading drummers of the 1980s before establishing a successful solo career and working with the likes of Diana Ross, Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez and Lionel Richie. Born into a family of Mexican-American percussionists, Sheila E. toured with her father Pete and uncle Coke Escovedo's jazz fusion band Azteca before meeting Prince in 1978 and playing on his classic albums Parade (1986), Sign O' The Times (1987) and Lovesexy (1988). Creating her own sound driven by Latin rhythms and laced with soulful, funky pop, her debut solo single The Glamorous Life reached Number 7 in the US charts and follow-up The Belle of St. Mark made the UK Top 20 in 1984. Albums The Glamorous Life (1984) and Romance 1600 (1985) featured more classic slices of 1980s pop and both made the US Top 50, but Sheila always seemed more at home behind the drums and became musical director of Prince's world tours and in 2002 she played on Beyoncé's hit Work It Out. Also a frequent collaborator with Gloria Estefan, Sheila's seventh solo album Icon was released in 2013 and featured a duet with Prince alongside vibrant dance beats, jazz experiments and references to her spiritual beliefs.

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