Sheila E. Tells How Prince Finally ‘Got Her’ & What She Did That Broke His Heart
Sheila E. and Prince had a very extensive, lengthy history together. She was his drummer and his fiancee’ at one point n time. In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone, Sheila E. explained how Prince finally talked her into being his lady, and what she and her “best friend,” Prince eventually did to hurt each other. It’s pretty interesting to learn about this side of the late, great musical genius. Check out excerpts of Sheila E.’s interview below.
Rolling Stone: Back when you met, Prince pursued you, right?
Sheila E.: Oh yeah, big time [laughs]. He pursued me for a long time.
RS: Was it that you weren’t attracted?
SE: Oh, yes I was! Are you kidding? No, oh my God. The first time we saw each other, we looked at each other like – [laughs]. He was beautiful, and he was talented. I had this thing for guitar players. But I had just gotten out of another relationship with a guitar player and I was like, “Not another musician.” I kept saying no [to Prince], but it was hard. After a while it was just like, “OK, well maybe.” And that was it. He wooed me very well [laughs].
RS: What did he do?
SE: He did so many beautiful things. During the Lionel Richie tour in 1982, he sent me flowers at every place, every single day. Whatever city we were in, there were beautiful arrangements of flowers from [Prince] the entire tour. The entire tour. I couldn’t bring anymore flowers on the bus. There were some I couldn’t even lift. Each arrangement was different. There was nowhere to put them, so I started giving them away to either shelters or the housekeepers, because there was no room on the bus. It was a lot – and I loved it [laughs]. He knew how to get me. And every arrangement came with a card from him.
RS: Do you still have them?
SE: I kept every single card.
What Sheila E. Says Hurt Prince The Most:
SE: We had a great life together, we really did, good and bad, the ups and the downs, there were a lot of downs. But at one point I told him, “I’m not here to play your music to get paid because it’s money, money has nothing to do with it, I’m here because I love you. I don’t care about your money.” So I told him to stop paying me when we were out on tour. That really upset him. That was during the LoveSexy Tour.
RS: And that was when –
SE: That’s when I knew I was gonna leave, that was about ’88, ’89. […] I don’t care about the money, I never did. I’d be there because I love the music, I love the hang, and we all get along. But just to be there because it’s a paycheck? I didn’t want to be in that position, so I chose to leave. On the personal side, we started growing apart. And he started seeing other people while I was there playing in the band. That was very hurtful, very hard.
Sheila E.’s latest album, Iconic, features a revised version of the song she and Prince released in 1985 titled, “America.” Check it out here.
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