Sheila E. Is Making a Biopic About Her Years With Prince
The percussionist broke the news on Facebook with a post that read, "Coming soon...Sheila E. to release Girl Meets Boy, a film telling the beautiful story of her time with Prince. Stay Tuned. 💜"
In her book, The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir, Sheila E. recalled that she first heard of Prince while he was recording his debut, For You. Santana keyboardist Tom Coster told her and her father, Santana percussionist Pete Escovedo, that he had heard this kid named Prince who was writing, producing and playing all the instruments in the studio next door to them. A few months later, she saw a poster for the album in a record store and was struck by the sight of "a beautiful young man with brown skin, a perfect Afro, and stunning green eyes."
In September 1978, they spotted each other on opposite sides of the stage at an Al Jarreau concert and made eye contact, but they didn't meet until a few months later, backstage at his show at the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, Calif. She was shocked that he knew who she was through her work with keyboardist George Duke.
“Me and my bass player, Andre Cymone, were fighting about which one of us was going to marry you,” he said, and then tried to hire out from under Duke, only to find out he couldn't afford her. Still, they became friends and they would hang out when he came to the Bay Area. But their respective schedules made it difficult for them to spend much time together over the next few years.
Fast forward to the Purple Rain era, when they duetted on "Erotic City," the b-side to "Let's Go Crazy." Shortly thereafter, her debut, The Glamorous Life came out, giving her a Top 10 smash with the title track, which he wrote. A year later came Romance 1600 and another hit with the Prince-penned "A Love Bizarre." She toured with him, first as an opening act on the Purple Rain tour and later as part of his touring band.
The two also became a couple around this time. In September 2020, Sheila E. revealed that he once mouthed the words "Marry me" to her during a concert, but she declined, saying she felt that they were "at a place [where] it didn’t feel right to either of us.” Plus, she also had doubts about whether he could be faithful to her.
She left his band in 1989, but they occasionally worked together between 2003 and 2010. In 2020, she served as the musical director for the televised Let's Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince.