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Legendary Artist Sheila E Joins AGT: Fantasy League in its Finale

The Queen of Percussion, Sheila E, is hitting the America's Got Talent: Fantasy League stage.

By Shameika Rhymes

Who better to join a finale musical performance than the Queen of Percussion? Sheila E is set to take the stage on the finale of America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League. The the drumming sensation always puts on an electrifying performance that even had Prince's attention, and her guest stint on Fantasy League will be no different.

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League on NBC and Peacock.

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However, some newcomers may be wondering how she is while fans may need a refresher on her many career accolades. To help, here's more on the musical legend known as Sheila E. 

Sheila E's AGT: Fantasy League Performance

Sheila E wasn’t alone on stage during the AGT: Fantasy League Finale. In fact, she was joined by two of the best talent teams the show has on its roster. Fittingly, the world-class percussionist was joined by the Pack Drumline who accompanied her in a cover of her song “The Glamorous Life” that was turned up to eleven. 

From note one, the group brought the house down and had the crowd and Judges dancing. The Pack Drumline played their usual tight percussion performance while adding some jaw-dropping dance moves to the mix. They were only topped by the introduction of V.Unbeatable, who brought even more stunning acrobatics to the stage. 

When it was all over, Shelia E couldn’t help but marvel at the immense talent she got to perform with. 

“This was a dream come true, thank you so much for the opportunity. We are now, forever, family!” she said. 

The Pack Drumline’s members managed to say a few kind words about the artist to NBC Insider prior to the big performance. 

“Tonight is definitely one of those feelings. After all the things that we've done has been crazy,’ one member explained. “But to know that we're performing with the legendary queen herself, Sheila E. tonight, that right there is monumental. So, we can't wait to tear it up with her tonight!”

Who is Sheila E?

Sheila E. poses for photos at the 2021 Latin Grammy Special Awards

Known as the “The Queen of Percussion,” Sheila Escovedo’s stage name is Sheila E. She’s best known a singer and percussionist. She gave her first public solo drum performance when she was 5 years old, appearing alongside her father. Her father, Pete Escovedo, is a renowned percussionist and Latin jazz musician. 

Sheila E made her recording debut with jazz bassist Alphonso Johnson on "Yesterday's Dream" in 1976. In 1977, she and her father released the album "Solo Two." She joined The George Duke Band that same year, according to a report from ABC 7 announcing her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Sheila E released her first album in 1984, "The Glamorous Life," which reached seventh on the Billboard R&B charts. The artist released her second album, "Romance 1600," in 1985, and several more albums after. Sheila E has also performed at the opening ceremony for the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Oscars and the Kennedy Center Honors. 

How did Sheila E meet Prince?

Sheila E. and Prince embrace onstage during The 36th Annual NAACP Image Awards

According to the Hollywood Walk of Fame press release, following a show in the late 1970s, Sheila E. met Prince backstage, which led to their "Purple Rain" recording sessions. This included recording the 1984 classic "Erotic City." She even opened up for Prince during the Purple Rain Tour, according to the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

The two also performed together on the Latin Grammys and at the ALMA Awards. When Prince died in 2016, she was a central part of the BET Awards tribute to the "Purple One," and she was the musical director for the 2020 tribute Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince.

Does Sheila E have any GRAMMY’s?

Sheila E performing onstage during a percussion demonstration

According to the GRAMMY's website, Sheila E received four GRAMMY nominations in 1985, including best new artist, best pop vocal performance, and best R&B song for “The Glamorous Life” single and best R&B instrumental performance for "Shortberry Strawcake." She has not yet received any GRAMMY awards. However, Sheila E received her first Emmy nomination in 2010 for outstanding music direction as music director of "In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina." Her second Emmy nod was for the Grammy Salute to Prince special

What has Sheila E done lately?

Sheila E. performs onstage during Global Citizen Live on September 25, 2021

Sheila E made history as the first female solo percussionist on the Hollywood Walk of Fame when her star was unveiled in 2023. Rolling Stone reported, the debut single from Sheila E’s first-ever salsa album, “Bailar,” is a cover of the Celia Cruz classic “Bemba Colorá,” which will be released February 23. The entire album will be released in April.

Catch up on the entire season of America's Got Talent: Fantasy League on Peacock.

Originally published Feb 16, 2024.