The scion of the Escovedo musical dynasty, which included her father Pete Escovedo and uncle Alejandro, Sheila E. 's most frequent collaborator was the rock icon Prince, but she transcended preconceived notions about his Svengali-like relationship with female protégés by virtue of her extraordinary talents as a percussionist. She began performing as a teenager alongside her father and uncle in their Latin funk band Azteca, before working as a session player for Marvin Gaye and George Duke. She finally stepped into the spotlight with her Top 30 solo debut, The Glamorous Life (1984), which produced a Top 10 single in the title track, a sultry paean to decadent living penned by Prince that meshed well with the high-gloss, high-drama funk of his Purple Rain period. However, her pop career quickly cooled after generating a Top 20 hit with another Prince tune, "A Love Bizarre" (1985), though she remained a significant member of the singer-songwriter's camp by serving as musical director on numerous tours. Her reputation as a show-stopping performer also led to stints with Ringo Starr, Herbie Hancock and Gloria Estefan, as well as forays into television, most notably as bandleader for Magic Johnson's short-lived talk show "The Magic Hour" (Fox, 1998). Though her pop career was largely a footnote, Sheila E.'s percussive skills not only elevated her beyond the fleeting fame of Vanity, Apollonia and other female singers shepherded by Prince, but also garnered great respect from some of the biggest names in the music industry.