Although she'd been playing music all her life -- first with her father the percussionist Pete Escovedo and then as part of The George Duke Band and then alongside Prince as a member of his ensemble -- Sheila E.'s career changed dramatically in June of 1984 when she released her debut solo album, The Glamorous Life.
The album's brassy, sassy title track was a global smash, reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October of 1984. 35 years ago today, on August 20, 1984, the track was also enjoying its two week run in the top spot on Dance Club Songs. But while the song -- written by Prince and co-produced by him and Sheila E. -- was adding funk and swagger to dance floors, the woman who performed it was grappling with the effects of the fame it delivered her.
"I was so famous when 'Glamorous Life' came out,"the artist born Sheila Cecilia Escovedo said in a 2014 interview with Time, "and I mean, I couldn’t go into the store, I couldn’t do anything. And that’s a hard place, to be to be that popular. It’s a scary place to be, and it can swallow you up. I could see what these young artists have to go through nowadays. It happened to me, and I know it’s crazy."