100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Sheila E.
100
Brooke Ismach/Zuma58/100

58. Sheila E.

Born Sheila Escovedo, daughter of percussionist Pete Escovedo, Sheila E. was a drum-kit prodigy playing at a young age with the likes of Marvin Gaye and Herbie Hancock. She came into fame bringing her crisp, pristine, polyrhythmic style to Prince's post-Revolution band in the late Eighties, helping shape the decade's rock, pop and R&B. Sure, she also sang on her own solo hits like 1984's "The Glamorous Life," but it's her eminence as a still-in-demand drummer that's secured her musical legacy. "It's pretty interesting everyone says how [Prince] influenced me, but actually I influenced him first," she told Fox News. "When I went to introduce myself he already knew who I was, which I was shocked, and he said, 'I know who you are already. I've been following your career for a long time, and you're amazing and I'd love for you to play in my band.'"

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