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Sheila E.: 1957—: Percussionist, Singer, Composer, Producer

Stepped Up To The Mike

After much coaxing, Prince convinced Sheila to sing on his song "Erotic City," which was the B-side to his number-one hit single, "Lets's Go Crazy." The song itself was a popular hit, and gave her the confidence to record her own crossover record. Prince helped her secure a record contract with Warner Bros., and in 1984 she released Sheila E. in The Glamorous Life.

A self-admitted workaholic and perfectionist, Sheila relentlessly toured and worked publicity to support her debut album. She toured Europe and the United States, and her first single, "The Glamorous Life," reached the top ten on the American charts. The album's second single, "The Belle of St. Mark," reached both the American and British Top 40. She then joined Prince on his sold-out 1985 Purple Rain tour, starred in her first film, Krush Groove, and recorded her follow-up album, Sheila E. in Romance 1600, all in rapid succession. Her second album produced one hit, "A Love Bizarre." In 1986 she continued her relentless schedule, touring again with Lionel Richie and recording her third album, Sheila E. She then rejoined Prince for his 1987 Sign O' the Times tour. Sheila E. did not have the commercial success of her first two albums.

In 1990 the percussionist's grueling schedule got the best of her. Her back went out and she visited a string of doctors and acupuncturists who tried to diagnose her and get her back on her feet. "I got really sick," she is quoted as saying in Sheila E. "It was at this time I thought I had to change my life. I realized it is important to sleep, take a break, and sit down and eat a regular meal." She ceased touring in support of other artists, and took time to play a show with her father and Tito Puente, which was recorded and released in 1989 as Latina Familia.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Craig David Biography - Became Teenage MC to Herman Edwards BiographySheila E.: 1957—: Percussionist, Singer, Composer, Producer Biography - Divided By Race And Class, Stepped Up To The Mike, Learned To Take It Easy With E-train