Sheila E.’s Glamorous Career

May 15, 2013

Sheila E. combined glamour and drumsticks decades before Meg White. If the name Sheila E. is new to you, great! You’ve got a hot new favorite song to YouTube ahead of her show at the Howard Theatre on Thursday. If you remember her from back in the day, you’ll be psyched for this rare solo appearance.

Family Ties: Sheila E. comes from a musical family. She often performs with her dad, Pete Escovedo, a drummer who played with her uncle in Santana. Her godfather was legendary jazz and salsa musician Tito Puente. Drums on drums on drums.

Prince: Sheila E. met the Purple One in 1978, and she eventually became his drummer and the director of his backing band, the New Power Generation. That’s her doing backing vocals on his classic 1984 track, “Let’s Go Crazy.”

Her Famous Jam: Sheila E. is best-known for her 1984 Prince-penned hit “The Glamorous Life,” in which a woman lives a freewheeling life yet finds that “without love, it ain’t much.” She did vocals and drums for the song, which remains the best getting-ready-to-go-out song ever. (She also plays the tuba, FYI.)

Still Rockin’: Sheila E. appeared on Beyonce’s 2002 song “Work It Out.” She’s writing an autobiography and has a new studio album in the works.

Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW; Thu., 7:30 p.m., $34.50-$39; 202-803-2899. (Shaw)
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