Why Prince and Sheila E. Never Married
The story comes via with new conversation with the Guardian in which the drummer also said she was still “angry” at Prince over his 2016 death, and recalled crying during the Grammys tribute performance in January this year.
The couple got together after Prince put considerable effort into pursuing E. She’d always been interested in him, but was recovering from the pain of a previous relationship when they met, and was dubious about hooking up with another musician.
“I came from a time of trying to stay away from sleeping with people that you work with,” E. explained in the interview. "But then we couldn’t resist each other.” She reported that he’d once mouthed the words “marry me” across a stage to her, and that she wasn’t certain why they didn’t tie the knot. “We just grew apart,” she said. “I loved everything that we did together but [we were] at a place [where] it didn’t feel right to either of us.”
Another reason was that she knew he’d have other relationships. “I guess there are some women that don’t care if there’s the other woman,” she reflected. “I do care. We shouldn’t be sharing each other. My parents were high-school sweethearts… been married now 64 years. I mean, that’s the point of being together.”
E. recalled the downside of finding fame in her own rite after Prince produced her 1984 debut album The Glamorous Life. “This is what you dream of when you think you want to be an artist, but there is no handbook that tells you what you should do,” she said, noting that the level of interest “allows you to speak to people … it’s not talking with someone, but talking to them. I got to the point of ‘You work for me, not with me.’”
She acted as musical director for Let’s Go Crazy – the Grammy Salute to Prince, which was aired in April and featured a wide range of guests playing songs from across the late artist’s catalog. “There were times when I got on the drums to play ‘The Cross’ with Gary Clark Jr,” she said. “I actually had a moment of crying a little bit because the only time I played that song was with Prince. That happened a couple of times.” She added: “I’m mad that he’s not here. I’m angry at him, and I’m thinking: ‘What could I have done?’”