Guided by the forces of family, faith, and music, Sheila E. has made a name for herself as one of the most talented musical icons over the decades. With a fearless nature and a passion for sharing her gifts with others, Sheila truly follows the beat of her own drum. She touches the lives of so many, with her dynamic music career at the heart of everything. Sheila’s eagerness to share her music, openness as an author, and fire for her ministry make her such a relatable, inspirational figure for people of all ages.
Born into a musical family, Sheila Escovedo (Sheila E.) has been driven by an inner rhythm her entire life. As a young girl, she was immersed in the diverse music scenes of the Bay Area—influenced and inspired by her percussionist father Pete Escovedo; musical uncles Coke Escovedo, Alejandro Escovedo, Mario Escovedo, and Javier Escovedo; and godfather Tito Puente. Growing up in the Escovedo household, musical instruments were for everyone. “Nobody cared as long as you could keep time (or have a good time),” she writes in her memoir, The Beat Of My Own Drum.
Before Sheila had language, she had rhythm. When she was 3 years old, she developed a love for playing various musical instruments, feeling the most connected to the drums and other percussion instruments. Born into an environment filled with music, with music running through her veins, Sheila found an inner beat that fueled her every move. As a young child, she’d copy the hand movements of her father as he played the drums—planting the seed for what would quickly become her life’s passion.
At the age of 5, Sheila gave her first public performance for an audience of 3,000, appearing alongside her dad. It was while on that stage playing a drum solo that Sheila first realized she was going to be a percussionist. Five decades later, and the beat that has always driven her is showing no signs of slowing down. The famous drummer, singer, songwriter, author, humanitarian, and icon is following the beat of her own drum. She considers music to be the purest form of self-expression and the one true love of her life.