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Sheila E records protest song covers album to help America heal

Prince’s longtime percussionist and one-time lover Sheila E has recorded a cover album of classic protest songs to help her mourn the death of the music icon and the state of her country.
The 59-year-old California native, full name Sheila Escovedo, has teamed up with the likes of George Clinton and Ringo Starr to rework controversial anthems by Curtis Mayfield, Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone, and the Beatles for ICONIC.
“People aren’t used to hearing from me about politics, but our country in the last five years has been through so much,” she tells Rolling Stone. “We have to lift and encourage each other.
“A lot of artists I grew up listening to in the Sixties and Seventies, like Marvin Gaye, I wound up playing with later on. I remember listening to songs like Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues, What’s Going On, and wondering which one I should do.”
She was particularly pleased when Ringo agreed to join her for a rendition of the Beatles’ Come Together.
“I remember calling Ringo and leaving a message on his cell phone,” she says. “He immediately calls me back saying to just bring him the sound files. He just killed it.
“Once I sat and broke down his process on every single song, I couldn’t believe how his simplicity of playing drums was actually very complicated. I’d close my eyes and every time I got to the part of playing the drum fill he (Starr) would already be there.”
Meanwhile, Sheila E reveals she has written a new track, Girl Meets Boy, about her love for Prince. It will be the title track on her next original album.

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