Sheila E. to play Rialto Square
Sheila E. rose to stardom during the mid-1980s with her critically-acclaimed debut album “The Glamorous Life” that eventually led to her being Prince’s drummer from 1987-89.
Her career has taken her in many directions, and Sheila E. will be in concert at 8 p.m. Friday at Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. Sheila E., born Sheila Escovedo in Oakland, Calif., in 1957, developed a love for playing music when she was 3, according to her website, sheilae.com.
She was immersed into the diverse Bay Area music scene by her father, Peter Escovedo, a percussionist, and many other extended family members. She wasn’t prepared for pop stardom.
“That was challenging for me,” Sheila E. said in an interview with Time magazine in 2014. “I signed as an R&B artist, and when ‘Glamorous Life’ crossed over to pop, it became, ‘Yeah, she was a pop star, not an R&B artist.’
“A pop star, that changed it. Then I started changing my show, because then it was more about me singing and less playing, and that’s why by my third record I said I don’t want to do this anymore. It wasn’t true to who I am. Not that I didn’t want to be a pop star or pop music was bad, it was just I wasn’t playing as much and that was the foundation of who I was was a musician.
“I played percussion and played drums. And the more that I sang and the more I didn’t play, I felt an emptiness and I realized that it just didn’t feel right. So I just walked away from it.”
That was in 1991 when Sheila E. took a 10-year break from the music business madness after reaching chart and music video success with singles “Glamorous Life” (No. 7 on Billboard Top 100), “Belle of St. Mark” (No. 34) in ’84 and “A Love Bizarre” with Prince (No. 11) in ’85.
Over her 35-plus-year career, Sheila E. has produced eight studio albums, including, “Icon,” released in 2013. Her most recent album is “Iconic: Message 4 America,” and it’s available on her website and on iTunes.
On tour now, her website describes her music now:
“Having been influenced by so many different genres of music over the years, as a singer, Sheila E. nails a variety of styles. From Latin, to jazz to R&B, Sheila pours her heart and soul into every song. Sheila has had an evolutionary music career. Her sound changes with the era and her life. For example, Sheila’s first singles differ in sound from the Sheila E. of today. You can hear her maturation — as a person and an artist — as her career has grown.”
Tickets for Sheila E. at Rialto Square (102 N. Chicago St., Joliet) are $33.50, “$48.50 and $63.50, and can be purchased online at rialtosquare.com or by calling the box office at 815-726-6600.