ONE-ON-ONE: Sheila E drums up decades of success - KMSP-TV

ONE-ON-ONE: Sheila E drums up decades of success

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) -

She's one of the most famous female drummers in the world. She's worked with everyone from Ringo Starr to Beyonce -- even President Barack Obama and his purple majesty -- and Sheila E spoke with FOX 9 before performing her second show at the Minnesota State Fair's Leinie Lodge.

More than 20 years after she moved away from Minnesota, Sheila E is still living the "Glamorous Life.

Even though it's been years since she'd been on stage in the state, she proved she can still lay down a killer beat.

Whether it's playing her trademark timbales or singing in front of her back-up band, the drumming dynamo always finds a way to bring the heat.

Thanks to her father, legendary Latin jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo, Sheila started playing the congas when she was 3. By the time she was a teenager, she graduated to the drum set and met a young artist from Minneapolis using the moniker Prince as he headed to the bay area to record his first album.

"I think he was excited about meeting my family. He'd been following my career for a long time," she recalled. "He was like, 'I know who you are, Sheila Escovedo. You've been playing with George Duke."

Soon, Sheila had moved to Minnesota to work with Mr. Purple, put out a string of hits, and make her debut on the silver screen with "Hollyrock." She also appeared in the 1985 rap movie "Krush Groove."

"It was overwhelming, basically," she admitted. "There were points where I couldn't go anywhere, just like Beyonce, Jay Z, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift now. It was just like that for me back in the day and it's a scary place to be. You have to be very careful."

After leaving Prince's camp and the state in the late 80s, Sheila focused on her solo career. To this day, marching to the beat of her own drum continues to pay off.

"There have been so many things that are so incredible in my life. I keep saying, 'Where are the television cameras? They are not getting this!" she said.

Although she knows she won't be able to play the drums forever, for now, the beat will continue to go on.

"I love what I do, but I want to do other things as well -- movies, television," she said.

Sheila still has family in Minnesota and visits often. In fact, she loves fishing in the land of 10,000 lakes. She also has a new album and an autobiography that will come out by the end of the year.

"I'm excited, happy and blessed," she said. "I don't take any of it for granted."

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