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Sheila E. on losing Prince and the current state of music

Larry King NowJul 25 '16

Legendary drummer Sheila E. opens up about the untimely death of her close friend and music partner Prince, discussing special moments she shared with the icon and whether or not we will hear Prince's unreleased music in the near future. Plus, Sheila shares her opinion on the state of the music business and dishes on her most notable collaborations, from Ringo Starr to Beyoncé.

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Legendary drummer Sheila E. opens up about the untimely death of her close friend and music partner Prince, discussing special moments she shared with the icon and whether or not we will hear Prince's unreleased music in the near future. Plus, Sheila shares her opinion on the state of the music business and dishes on her most notable collaborations, from Ringo Starr to Beyoncé.

Sheila E. talks about her longstanding friendship with the late musical icon Prince and reveals information about their romantic relationship, including how they met and why it ultimately didn’t work romantically. E. discusses the pain of mourning Prince and reveals the emotions behind her beautiful and heartfelt tribute performance on the BET Awards.E. also reveals that the late musician has hundreds of unreleased songs, never before heard by the public.

Sheila E. discusses her opinion on the state of the music industry and explains that she feels that someone needs to figure out “a new way for this industry to survive” before it collapses on itself. E. also discusses her dislike for streaming services, comparing what they do to stealing. E. also talks about the journey of her music career and the hardest part about starting out as a female drummer.

Sheila E. reveals what it’s like to work with some of the music industry’s most talented and famous stars including Beyoncé, Ringo Starr, and Gloria Estefan.From playing alongside one of the world’s most famous drummers, to getting in formation with the Queen B herself, E. discusses how it was to work together with musical icons. E. reveals that Beyoncé has a great work ethic, Starr is iconic in his musical simplicity, and spending time with Estefan is like being with a sister.

QUOTES FROM THIS 'LARRY KING NOW' INTERVIEW WITH SHEILA E.:

*Posted Online on Ora.TV on July 25th 2016:

"Prince passed and I was releasing a dance record and I decided to just stop the record, not release it, and I felt like I needed to write something new and share where my heart was at this particular time… I knew that I wanted to talk about our time together, even when we would ride bikes together and stuff like that, but when we met it was 1978, so at the beginning of the song, when I met him he was a boy and I was a girl." — Sheila E. on Prince’s death and her inspiration for “Girl Meets Boy.”


"I met him in Oakland, in the Bay Area. He was recording his album, and I think it was Circle Star Theater was a place where everyone used to perform, so I went to go see him perform and went backstage to introduce myself and he turned around, saw me coming, and just said oh it's nice to meet you and I know who you are. And I'm like really? Ok. He said yeah, I've been following your career, you've been playing with George Duke, playing drums, and then he asked me how much I was making." — Sheila E. on the first time she met Prince.


"We were working together 24/7, you know, we were always together and it was a good and a bad thing and after awhile, I think, I started to feel like musically he was going, I didn't want to be anymore and that kind of made it so I didn't want to be around the music." — Sheila E. on why she broke their engagement and stopped playing with Prince.

"I know that he was in pain because I'm in pain half the time. You know, I've got injuries, I've fallen on stage, there's times where some of the pieces of the set have fallen on my head, hit my arm, yeah. I was always getting hurt and so was he. I mean just think about it. If you look at him jumping from one riser to another like this in those heels, I don't even know how he did it." — Sheila E. on why Prince was taking painkillers.

"I know that about three or four years of recording with him at one point, there's hundreds of songs that I've recorded with him that I've not heard yet... And I know that in the vault there's a lot of music in there." — Sheila E. on Prince’s unreleased music.

"When I said yes to BET, I reluctantly said yes because it was too close to after him passing and I didn't think that I'd be able to do it. Because at that time I couldn't look at a picture of him, I couldn't listen to his music, you know anytime anyone said anything, how are you doing? I'd just start crying, it was just very emotional. Even putting the music together, it was very emotional. Just even thinking about it. Because I had to sit down and think about what am I going to do that I could get through and perform without breaking down." — Sheila E. on her tribute to Prince at the BET Awards.

"My dad is a percussionist. Pete Escovedo, still playing, our family plays, so he would practice around the house. Instead of having this table, it was congas, timbales, you know, percussion, and he plays, he still plays, and so I had no choice, I think." — Sheila E. on how she got into drumming.


"At 15 I played this one show with my dad, his percussion player was sick, and I played that one show and my dad turned to me...he told me to take a solo, I took the solo and I closed my eyes and next thing I know I open my eyes and I was like, what just happened? It was a place I had never gone before, and I said this is what I want to do!" — Sheila E. on how she decided she wanted to be a drummer.


"The music business in itself is crazy. It's a man's world in a sense and then also with the record companies and the way that things have gone throughout the years, it's a business now that has folded. What are we doing now? What are gonna do? Someone has to with a new model, a new way for this industry to survive." — Sheila E. on the music industry.


"Before music I was training to be in the olympics, I was running track. I'm an athlete at heart."— Sheila E. on what she would be doing if she wasn’t drumming.


"The hardest thing about learning wasn't the music part, it was the business part, you know...It was the things that the other guys would say to me that were offensive.... It all had to do with you're not good, you're not great, you're only here because you know Herbie Hancock or George Duke, or because it's you dad or Tito Puente, or I can get you a record deal hey here's my number let’s go have sex, blah blah blah, it was all of that." — Sheila E. on the hardest part of breaking into the music industry.

"They say that it is, but it's not. I was never told that when I was growing up, my parents never said because you're a girl that you can't play, but the industry and the media has said that. Women come up to me and young girls all the time and I say it's never too late. Get some drums, play them at home, have a great time." — Sheila E. on if drumming is a man’s profession.