It was actually beautiful.” They were close friends for nearly 40 years. I thought we were going to grow old together,” the drummer, 58, said late Sunday afternoon, 24 hours after she’d attended a small, private memorial at Paisley Park. Many took place in a studio inside the WCCO-TV building. It’s hard to talk about, but it’s also helping me,” she said in a soft monotone. He’d want us to celebrate.” Following the 57-year-old Prince’s death Thursday morning, Sheila E. She gave 25 interviews this weekend in Minneapolis and turned down requests for at least 50 more.He had his own sound and he did it for the people.” Sheila E.— the “E” is for Escovedo, her real last name — collaborated with Prince on her biggest hits: 1984’s “The Glamorous Life” and 1985’s “A Love Bizarre.” She also sang background on his songs “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Erotic City.” Sheila E. Eventually, Prince married backup singer and dancer Mayte Garcia in 1996 when she was 22 years old and he was 37 — though their union was annulled two years later. A few years later, Prince proposed to her onstage during a performance of “Purple Rain.” “I was playing drums at the time,” she told “GMA.” “He turned around and looked at me and asked me to marry him and I said, ‘Yes.’” But they never wed.In 2001, Prince married Manuela Testolini; they divorced in 2006.
Taking cues from her father’s band, Azteca — Sheila was heavily influenced by them — she made her debut as a performer at the tender age of 5 at the Sands Ballroom in Oakland in front of a crowd of 3,000 — not bad at all for a child that had yet to be enrolled in grade school. said Prince had told her he knew they would get married from the moment they first met at his concert in Oakland, California, in 1978.In 2001, he married 24-year-old Manuela Testolini Nelson, who had worked for his charitable foundation. “He’s created music that no one has ever done before.After a particularly impressive solo during a performance with her father, Sheila was intent on becoming a musician and would display a drive that would take her to heights unimaginable.“When I was 15 years old, my dad’s percussion player got sick,” recalled Sheila E. “And I asked him, begged him, [to let me] play in his band for the show and convinced him to let me do so. That’s when I knew this is what I’m supposed to be doing — playing music.” By her late teens, Sheila was already a seasoned percussionist with A-List collaborations, including George Duke, Diana Ross, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye, Patti La Belle and Stevie Nicks under her belt.