Sheila E. announces movie about loving and working with Prince

The legendary drummer says that she has an upcoming movie biopic in the works about her relationship with the music icon

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Sheila E. has more to say about her musical and personal relationship with the late legend, Prince. The drummer announced last week via her social media accounts that she is working on a film about how the two met, made music, and were once engaged.

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In her 2014 book, “The Beat of My Own Drum,” Sheila revealed Prince had once asked her to marry him, though he never publicly confirmed or denied her account. Born Sheila Escovedo in Oakland, California, the now 63-year-old drummer is part of the famed Escovedo musical family.

Her father, Pete Escovedo, is a renowned percussionist and a pioneering Latin jazz musician. Sheila’s brother, Coke Escovedo, was a member of Santana’s band and formed the band Azteca.

2007 NCLR ALMA Awards - Show
Sheila E. and Prince perform onstage during the 2007 NCLR ALMA Awards held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on June 1, 2007 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

In 2014, Sheila told the Detroit Free Press that she was surprised that the revelation about Prince was more shocking to fans than the one about Carlos Santana, who she says she was engaged to when she was 18 and he was 36. He was also married at the time.

“That was huge and no one knew about that,” she said then. “I thought people would be talking about that, and it’s more about, ‘She was engaged to Prince!’ Really?”

Sheila had an established career as a drummer/percussionist before meeting Prince and joining his bands from 1984-1989, officially playing with him from Purple Rain through to Lovesexy. During her time making music with Prince, she guest-starred on “Love Bizarre” and the then-controversial “Erotic City,” also recording two albums, The Glamorous Life and Romance 1600. The “The Glamourous Life” single released in 1984 became her signature hit, featuring a lengthy drum solo that highlighted her musicianship.

Sheila was a guest on Prince’s several Prince tours and on multiple TV show appearances, including the 2005 NAACP Image Awards and the BRIT Awards in 2006. The two also performed together on the Latin Grammys and at the ALMA Awards. When Prince passed in 2016, she was a central part of the BET Awards tribute and last year, was the musical director for Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince, a star-studded special that aired on the fourth anniversary of his death.

But not all of Sheila’s tributes to Prince have gone as smoothly. The release of her song “Lemon Cake” last year was met by some derision from former Prince associates including Purple Rain star Apollonia, who accused Sheila of using Prince’s memory and legacy for her own gain.

“Prince refused to acknowledge you for 5 years before his death because of your lies,” Apollonia said in a Facebook post days before the Prince tribute aired. “Your charity funds went where? Where are the music schools $$?? I was there helping you raise funds. I had your best interest at heart but later found out , the money went into your dirty pocket$. I was crestfallen. Prince scolded me! He knew better.”

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Here’s a take on the ‘biopic’ from a Prince vlogger:

Watch a clip of Prince and Sheila E. at the ALMA’s below:

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