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Thread started 04/29/11 11:12am

Efan

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Sheila E. on Beating Prince at Basketball, Not Rehearsing for the 21-Nite Stand and Whether She's a Better Drummer

Nice interview with Sheila in the OC Weekly.

Link here: http://blogs.ocweekly.com...nce_at.php

Sheila Escovedo, better known as Sheila E., didn't really need Prince to discover her: Her dad is Latin jazz legend and timbalero Pete Escovedo, and she'd toured with Natalie Cole, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, among others, before Prince took her under his wing in 1983 and pushed her first solo album, The Glamorous Life. Because she's toured with Prince throughout both their careers, something just clicks when you watch her open for and perform with Prince at his "Welcome 2 America Live: 21-Nite Stand" at the Inglewood Forum.

After the jump, read what she has to say about being a hot timbalera at 53, being on call for Prince's "21-Nite Stand" and who's the better drummer.

OC Weekly: What's it like playing the "Welcome to America Live: The 21 Nite Stand" tour with Prince?
Sheila E.:
Every show with Prince is always amazing, you never know what to expect. I don't know how many shows I'm doing; I haven't played every single show thus far. (She didn't play last night either.--Ed.) I'm just on call, when he wants me to play, I'll play.

What kind of advance notice do you get? Sometimes the night before, or the day of. Because I know he's playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I try to schedule things according to knowing I'd have to be at soundcheck or performing at night. But life goes on as normal as possible for me because I'm running around promoting the E. Family's new CD called Now and Forever: The E. Family, so we've been pretty busy.

You've played on a lot of Prince's tours--how different is this one?
I think it's pretty awesome that he's an artist that is able to say, 'Hey I'm doing 21 shows in Los Angeles' and not do them in a row. It's pretty amazing to be able to do that--[touring on] the road is pretty hard and takes its toll on your body, so I think it's very cool to be able to [jump in the shows] and still be at home.

I saw you last week and your energy on stage is off the hook. How do you sustain that?
I don't exercise and work out as much as I used to, and I should because I have a lot of injuries, and now that I'm 53...

You're 53!? You look amazing.
Thank you. I'll be 54 in December. [Drumming] takes a lot, and it's so demanding to put out like that every single night. My sister is a masseuse and she works on me, because the day after a performance I'm in a lot of pain.
But of course I choose to perform in 5-, 6-inch heels and jump around on stage like I'm 20, so... I enjoy what I do, but definitely all drummers and performers should work out.

You paved the way for many female drummers...do you keep tabs on a lot of new ones these days?
I'm not the first to make my name known, I'd say that was Karen Carpenter. But I think I was one of the first--timbaleras. I've never seen a woman front their own band and play timbales before me. Who would've thought to do that? It ended up working. Right now, I'd say the drummers for Beyonce are really really good. Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz's drummer) is good. Most of the women drummers I know right now, most of them can play rings around me. And they're more advanced technically in playing.

I'm always listening other musicians and artists, I'll continue to be a student of music for the rest of my life, because there's not enough that I could ever learn. Different types of music, where it comes from, different musicians and how they play, songwriters--that can keep you pretty occupied.

What about Prince? What did you learn from him?
I learned that I can beat him at basketball and ping-pong. And pool, sometimes!

Do you ever have drum-offs?
Yes, he can play drums very well!

Are you better than he is?
I don't know. (Laughs) Everyone asks me that, even with my dad and my brothers. but it's hard to say because everyone's style is different. I can be a chameleon, if you need me to drum and just keep time, I can do that. If you need me to solo, I can do that. If you need me to do Latin jazz, I can I do that. I don't think Prince is that versatile in other styles but he plays it his way, which still makes sense. He plays beats that I can't do!

How much input do you get on Prince's set list? Do you get to choose songs?
He asks my opinion, and he's always open to suggestions. Like I said, we're all students to ideas. [The thing about these shows is,] when you think you've seen the best and you think you've seen it, you haven't. The set list changes every single day, so every show is different. You can't say that about any other artist.

How do you prepare for an ever changing setlist?
I haven't done any rehearsals with Prince. I showed up one day for rehearsals on the first day. That was it. When I see him I get a set list, and I talk to him about certain songs, where I should come up or down. The band rehearses every day but I don't, I just show up and I just play.

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Reply #1 posted 04/29/11 12:05pm

p4life

cool thanks for the interview.. i luv mi sum sheila !cool

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Reply #2 posted 04/29/11 1:01pm

CallMeCarrie

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Look at our girl, Sheila!

So proud! mushy

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Reply #3 posted 04/29/11 1:43pm

TheDigitalGard
ener

Nice post, thanks.

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Reply #4 posted 04/29/11 3:34pm

rbrpm

"I just luv me some sheila e! U can keep the 53 i'm close enough!biggrin lol

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Reply #5 posted 04/29/11 5:11pm

wonder505

I just love Sheila E. So jealous fans in LA who get to see her on stage for so many nights with Princel.

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Reply #6 posted 04/29/11 9:40pm

ufoclub

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She's a great lady.

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Reply #7 posted 04/29/11 10:16pm

johnart

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I don't think folk are supposed to say "masseuse" anymore. lol

5-6 inch heels...mushy

[Edited 4/29/11 22:16pm]

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Reply #8 posted 04/29/11 10:52pm

alexnvrmnd777

Very good interview. Thanks for the heads up.

I really wish that one day I could see Prince really fuck shit up on the drums. I mean go ALL out. We've seen a solo here or there or a section like on IGBABN, but I wanna see him on the drums for an entire song AND have a cymbal-crashing, snare-pounding solo. It's the one instrument that we rarely see him on.

Get behind the kit, Prince!

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Reply #9 posted 04/30/11 2:45am

thebeautifulon
es777

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thanx 4 sharing nice interview
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Reply #10 posted 04/30/11 6:20am

ItsGonnaBLonel
y

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CallMeCarrie said:

Look at our girl, Sheila!

So proud! mushy

I kno, she's such a terrific woman, i hold so much repsect for her biggrin

"How Can I Stand To..Stay Where I Am? Poor Butterfly Who..Dont Understand." P
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Reply #11 posted 04/30/11 4:38pm

Efan

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johnart said:

I don't think folk are supposed to say "masseuse" anymore. lol



5-6 inch heels...mushy

[Edited 4/29/11 22:16pm]



We can't call them masseuses anymore? What are we supposed to call them?
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Reply #12 posted 05/02/11 4:40am

purplenuts

I love how Sheila is always positive in terms of Prince. Despite the unsubstantiated negative rumors that are started and quickly die, one of his oldest friends seems to pant a realistic and believable picture of the genius. She is also one of the few who are still successful and relevant without Prince.

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Reply #13 posted 05/02/11 10:18am

lavender1983

IHeartHer.com mushy

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Reply #14 posted 05/02/11 11:56am

PsychedelicMam
a

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Efan said:

johnart said:

I don't think folk are supposed to say "masseuse" anymore. lol

5-6 inch heels...mushy

[Edited 4/29/11 22:16pm]

We can't call them masseuses anymore? What are we supposed to call them?

Massage Therapist smile

"You can be the President, I'd rather be the Pope"
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Reply #15 posted 05/03/11 12:37pm

prodigalfan

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Efan said:

johnart said:

I don't think folk are supposed to say "masseuse" anymore. lol

5-6 inch heels...mushy

[Edited 4/29/11 22:16pm]

We can't call them masseuses anymore? What are we supposed to call them?

massage therapist? shrug
"Remember, one man's filler is another man's killer" -- Haystack
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Reply #16 posted 05/03/11 4:04pm

Efan

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prodigalfan said:

Efan said:

We can't call them masseuses anymore? What are we supposed to call them?

massage therapist? shrug

biggrin I guess my question should have just been why can't we call them masseuses anymore?

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Reply #17 posted 05/03/11 9:03pm

CaptnCrunchBer
ry

Awesome Performer! Love you Sheila!!!

U know, U know what shoes 2 wear... The 1's so high UR scared!!!
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Reply #18 posted 05/04/11 4:29am

Efan

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CaptnCrunchBerry said:

Awesome Performer! Love you Sheila!!!

She is great, isn't she? This is probably one of her best interviews.

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Reply #19 posted 05/04/11 1:15pm

KCOOLMUZIQ

Efan said:

Nice interview with Sheila in the OC Weekly.

Link here: http://blogs.ocweekly.com...nce_at.php

Sheila Escovedo, better known as Sheila E., didn't really need Prince to discover her: Her dad is Latin jazz legend and timbalero Pete Escovedo, and she'd toured with Natalie Cole, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, among others, before Prince took her under his wing in 1983 and pushed her first solo album, The Glamorous Life. Because she's toured with Prince throughout both their careers, something just clicks when you watch her open for and perform with Prince at his "Welcome 2 America Live: 21-Nite Stand" at the Inglewood Forum.

After the jump, read what she has to say about being a hot timbalera at 53, being on call for Prince's "21-Nite Stand" and who's the better drummer.

OC Weekly: What's it like playing the "Welcome to America Live: The 21 Nite Stand" tour with Prince?
Sheila E.:
Every show with Prince is always amazing, you never know what to expect. I don't know how many shows I'm doing; I haven't played every single show thus far. (She didn't play last night either.--Ed.) I'm just on call, when he wants me to play, I'll play.

What kind of advance notice do you get? Sometimes the night before, or the day of. Because I know he's playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I try to schedule things according to knowing I'd have to be at soundcheck or performing at night. But life goes on as normal as possible for me because I'm running around promoting the E. Family's new CD called Now and Forever: The E. Family, so we've been pretty busy.

You've played on a lot of Prince's tours--how different is this one?
I think it's pretty awesome that he's an artist that is able to say, 'Hey I'm doing 21 shows in Los Angeles' and not do them in a row. It's pretty amazing to be able to do that--[touring on] the road is pretty hard and takes its toll on your body, so I think it's very cool to be able to [jump in the shows] and still be at home.

I saw you last week and your energy on stage is off the hook. How do you sustain that?
I don't exercise and work out as much as I used to, and I should because I have a lot of injuries, and now that I'm 53...

You're 53!? You look amazing.
Thank you. I'll be 54 in December. [Drumming] takes a lot, and it's so demanding to put out like that every single night. My sister is a masseuse and she works on me, because the day after a performance I'm in a lot of pain.
But of course I choose to perform in 5-, 6-inch heels and jump around on stage like I'm 20, so... I enjoy what I do, but definitely all drummers and performers should work out.

You paved the way for many female drummers...do you keep tabs on a lot of new ones these days?
I'm not the first to make my name known, I'd say that was Karen Carpenter. But I think I was one of the first--timbaleras. I've never seen a woman front their own band and play timbales before me. Who would've thought to do that? It ended up working. Right now, I'd say the drummers for Beyonce are really really good. Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz's drummer) is good. Most of the women drummers I know right now, most of them can play rings around me. And they're more advanced technically in playing.

I'm always listening other musicians and artists, I'll continue to be a student of music for the rest of my life, because there's not enough that I could ever learn. Different types of music, where it comes from, different musicians and how they play, songwriters--that can keep you pretty occupied.

What about Prince? What did you learn from him?
I learned that I can beat him at basketball and ping-pong. And pool, sometimes!

Do you ever have drum-offs?
Yes, he can play drums very well!

Are you better than he is?
I don't know. (Laughs) Everyone asks me that, even with my dad and my brothers. but it's hard to say because everyone's style is different. I can be a chameleon, if you need me to drum and just keep time, I can do that. If you need me to solo, I can do that. If you need me to do Latin jazz, I can I do that. I don't think Prince is that versatile in other styles but he plays it his way, which still makes sense. He plays beats that I can't do!

How much input do you get on Prince's set list? Do you get to choose songs?
He asks my opinion, and he's always open to suggestions. Like I said, we're all students to ideas. [The thing about these shows is,] when you think you've seen the best and you think you've seen it, you haven't. The set list changes every single day, so every show is different. You can't say that about any other artist.

How do you prepare for an ever changing setlist?
I haven't done any rehearsals with Prince. I showed up one day for rehearsals on the first day. That was it. When I see him I get a set list, and I talk to him about certain songs, where I should come up or down. The band rehearses every day but I don't, I just show up and I just play.

Gr8 behind the scenes info Sheila. By the way Sheila is going 2 b per4ming live tommorow morning on the CBS morning show....

eye will ALWAYS think of prince like a "ACT OF GOD"! N another realm. eye mean of all people who might of been aliens or angels.if found out that prince wasn't of this earth, eye would not have been that surprised. R.I.P. prince
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Reply #20 posted 05/04/11 6:10pm

Efan

avatar

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

Efan said:

Nice interview with Sheila in the OC Weekly.

Link here: http://blogs.ocweekly.com...nce_at.php

Sheila Escovedo, better known as Sheila E., didn't really need Prince to discover her: Her dad is Latin jazz legend and timbalero Pete Escovedo, and she'd toured with Natalie Cole, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, among others, before Prince took her under his wing in 1983 and pushed her first solo album, The Glamorous Life. Because she's toured with Prince throughout both their careers, something just clicks when you watch her open for and perform with Prince at his "Welcome 2 America Live: 21-Nite Stand" at the Inglewood Forum.

After the jump, read what she has to say about being a hot timbalera at 53, being on call for Prince's "21-Nite Stand" and who's the better drummer.

OC Weekly: What's it like playing the "Welcome to America Live: The 21 Nite Stand" tour with Prince?
Sheila E.:
Every show with Prince is always amazing, you never know what to expect. I don't know how many shows I'm doing; I haven't played every single show thus far. (She didn't play last night either.--Ed.) I'm just on call, when he wants me to play, I'll play.

What kind of advance notice do you get? Sometimes the night before, or the day of. Because I know he's playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I try to schedule things according to knowing I'd have to be at soundcheck or performing at night. But life goes on as normal as possible for me because I'm running around promoting the E. Family's new CD called Now and Forever: The E. Family, so we've been pretty busy.

You've played on a lot of Prince's tours--how different is this one?
I think it's pretty awesome that he's an artist that is able to say, 'Hey I'm doing 21 shows in Los Angeles' and not do them in a row. It's pretty amazing to be able to do that--[touring on] the road is pretty hard and takes its toll on your body, so I think it's very cool to be able to [jump in the shows] and still be at home.

I saw you last week and your energy on stage is off the hook. How do you sustain that?
I don't exercise and work out as much as I used to, and I should because I have a lot of injuries, and now that I'm 53...

You're 53!? You look amazing.
Thank you. I'll be 54 in December. [Drumming] takes a lot, and it's so demanding to put out like that every single night. My sister is a masseuse and she works on me, because the day after a performance I'm in a lot of pain.
But of course I choose to perform in 5-, 6-inch heels and jump around on stage like I'm 20, so... I enjoy what I do, but definitely all drummers and performers should work out.

You paved the way for many female drummers...do you keep tabs on a lot of new ones these days?
I'm not the first to make my name known, I'd say that was Karen Carpenter. But I think I was one of the first--timbaleras. I've never seen a woman front their own band and play timbales before me. Who would've thought to do that? It ended up working. Right now, I'd say the drummers for Beyonce are really really good. Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz's drummer) is good. Most of the women drummers I know right now, most of them can play rings around me. And they're more advanced technically in playing.

I'm always listening other musicians and artists, I'll continue to be a student of music for the rest of my life, because there's not enough that I could ever learn. Different types of music, where it comes from, different musicians and how they play, songwriters--that can keep you pretty occupied.

What about Prince? What did you learn from him?
I learned that I can beat him at basketball and ping-pong. And pool, sometimes!

Do you ever have drum-offs?
Yes, he can play drums very well!

Are you better than he is?
I don't know. (Laughs) Everyone asks me that, even with my dad and my brothers. but it's hard to say because everyone's style is different. I can be a chameleon, if you need me to drum and just keep time, I can do that. If you need me to solo, I can do that. If you need me to do Latin jazz, I can I do that. I don't think Prince is that versatile in other styles but he plays it his way, which still makes sense. He plays beats that I can't do!

How much input do you get on Prince's set list? Do you get to choose songs?
He asks my opinion, and he's always open to suggestions. Like I said, we're all students to ideas. [The thing about these shows is,] when you think you've seen the best and you think you've seen it, you haven't. The set list changes every single day, so every show is different. You can't say that about any other artist.

How do you prepare for an ever changing setlist?
I haven't done any rehearsals with Prince. I showed up one day for rehearsals on the first day. That was it. When I see him I get a set list, and I talk to him about certain songs, where I should come up or down. The band rehearses every day but I don't, I just show up and I just play.

Gr8 behind the scenes info Sheila. By the way Sheila is going 2 b per4ming live tommorow morning on the CBS morning show....

Good to hear. What's she doing?

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Reply #21 posted 05/05/11 8:22am

Efan

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Reply #22 posted 05/05/11 2:02pm

diamondpearl1

alexnvrmnd777 said:

Very good interview. Thanks for the heads up.

I really wish that one day I could see Prince really fuck shit up on the drums. I mean go ALL out. We've seen a solo here or there or a section like on IGBABN, but I wanna see him on the drums for an entire song AND have a cymbal-crashing, snare-pounding solo. It's the one instrument that we rarely see him on.

Get behind the kit, Prince!

I get all that everytime I listen 2 "I'm Yours" "Bambi" and "Why U Wanna Treat Me So Bad" eek

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Reply #23 posted 05/06/11 8:37am

KCOOLMUZIQ

Efan said:

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

Gr8 behind the scenes info Sheila. By the way Sheila is going 2 b per4ming live tommorow morning on the CBS morning show....

Good to hear. What's she doing?

eye didn't catch it. It aired really early here...

eye will ALWAYS think of prince like a "ACT OF GOD"! N another realm. eye mean of all people who might of been aliens or angels.if found out that prince wasn't of this earth, eye would not have been that surprised. R.I.P. prince
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Reply #24 posted 05/06/11 9:02am

Efan

avatar

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

Efan said:

Good to hear. What's she doing?

eye didn't catch it. It aired really early here...

Are you sure she was on? I tuned in the last half hour, which is when they usually have musical/entertainment guests.

I can't imagine they put her on in the first hour, when they should have been talking about Bin Laden. biggrin

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Reply #25 posted 05/07/11 7:09am

KCOOLMUZIQ

Efan said:

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

eye didn't catch it. It aired really early here...

Are you sure she was on? I tuned in the last half hour, which is when they usually have musical/entertainment guests.

I can't imagine they put her on in the first hour, when they should have been talking about Bin Laden. biggrin

They advertised her between 5-7am. eye did think it was an odd time 4 a musical guest.....

eye will ALWAYS think of prince like a "ACT OF GOD"! N another realm. eye mean of all people who might of been aliens or angels.if found out that prince wasn't of this earth, eye would not have been that surprised. R.I.P. prince
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Reply #26 posted 05/07/11 7:45am

Efan

avatar

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

Efan said:

Are you sure she was on? I tuned in the last half hour, which is when they usually have musical/entertainment guests.

I can't imagine they put her on in the first hour, when they should have been talking about Bin Laden. biggrin

They advertised her between 5-7am. eye did think it was an odd time 4 a musical guest.....

I think that must have been the local show, then. The national program runs from 7-9, so I guess the local affiliate had her on. Maybe the whole E family performed.

I'm glad these concerts are giving Sheila some good exposure. My hope is that it leads to another album where she and Prince collaborate. Let's say 12-15 new songs that are just a collaboration between those two. I'd be so happy...

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Reply #27 posted 05/07/11 9:04am

KCOOLMUZIQ

Efan said:

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

They advertised her between 5-7am. eye did think it was an odd time 4 a musical guest.....

I think that must have been the local show, then. The national program runs from 7-9, so I guess the local affiliate had her on. Maybe the whole E family performed.

I'm glad these concerts are giving Sheila some good exposure. My hope is that it leads to another album where she and Prince collaborate. Let's say 12-15 new songs that are just a collaboration between those two. I'd be so happy...

Sheila seems 2 b always working.It was the local show. They only mentioned Sheila. But eye am sure she brought her E family. She been really advertising there new album.

eye will ALWAYS think of prince like a "ACT OF GOD"! N another realm. eye mean of all people who might of been aliens or angels.if found out that prince wasn't of this earth, eye would not have been that surprised. R.I.P. prince
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Reply #28 posted 05/08/11 3:03pm

Efan

avatar

KCOOLMUZIQ said:

Efan said:

I think that must have been the local show, then. The national program runs from 7-9, so I guess the local affiliate had her on. Maybe the whole E family performed.

I'm glad these concerts are giving Sheila some good exposure. My hope is that it leads to another album where she and Prince collaborate. Let's say 12-15 new songs that are just a collaboration between those two. I'd be so happy...

Sheila seems 2 b always working.It was the local show. They only mentioned Sheila. But eye am sure she brought her E family. She been really advertising there new album.

She is definitely the hardest workin' woman in show business. nod

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Reply #29 posted 05/08/11 6:56pm

Timmy84

Got MAD love for Sheila. nod

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Forums > Associated artists & people > Sheila E. on Beating Prince at Basketball, Not Rehearsing for the 21-Nite Stand and Whether She's a Better Drummer