Sheila E. talks Prince, the BET Awards and her first time performing in Detroit

he first time Sheila E. performed with Prince in the Motor City, was in 1984 during the “Purple Rain” tour. It was the tour’s first stop and the singer-drummer says they were already exhausted from the tour’s intensive pre production rehearsals.

“I remember losing my voice, then the PA system went out and Detroit booed me and booed me, but I kept going,” she says. “[Detroiters] tell the truth. They either love you or they hate you.”

With the loss of the Prince earlier this year, we, along with the rest of the world, reflected on his life and career and watched countless tributes to the Purple One, whether on television award shows, or parties across the country. But all eyes were on Sheila E., one of Prince’s first proteges and later close collaborator, during a closing tribute during the BET Awards, where she brought down the house playing some of Prince’s — and her own — biggest hits.

“It was very therapeutic as well as challenging in all areas, physically and spiritually, because of the reason we were doing that in the first place,” Sheila E. says. “It was very emotional. But us being together in the same room at the same time and letting go was overwhelming to say the least.”

As a group, the performers only got to rehearse together for about two and a half days, she says, but that every person put their heart and soul into the performance.


Sheila E. takes the stage at Chene Park along with Tower of Power on July 22, which will be the first time the two full bands have performed together.

“Expect a lot of funky music,” she says. “Tower of Power, I grew up listening to them, so it’s going to be pretty amazing. I’m really truly excited about it.”


Shelia E. will be performing in the upcoming Glamorous Life Latin Cruise, along with other artists.

“We’re doing a tribute to Prince as well as a Latin tribute to Michael Jackson.”

You can also download her new single “Girl Meets Boy,” for free on her website.


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