Sheila E. Heartbroken After Being Denied Entry to Paisley Park

Sheila E. Heartbroken After Being Denied Entry to Paisley Park

Sheila E. Heartbroken After Being Denied Entry to Paisley Park

MINNEAPOLIS — Sheila E., the Grammy-nominated percussionist, was left heartbroken after being denied entry to Paisley Park, the iconic studio where she once collaborated with her mentor and former fiancée, the late rock legend Prince. Sheila E. had hoped to record a video to honor Prince on what would have been his 66th birthday, but her unannounced visit was met with refusal.

In an emotional Instagram video, Sheila E. expressed her disappointment, stating that she had gone to Paisley Park to celebrate Prince and wanted to do a live video and take pictures. However, she was told she could not enter the studio. “My heart’s broke. I can’t even walk into Paisley. That’s kind of messed up,” she said. “Not a nice way to celebrate his birthday.”

Following the incident, Sheila E. released a statement through her publicist on Monday, requesting the return of her old drum kit, which she said Prince had personally asked to “borrow” for display at the museum. She mentioned that a tour guide had even highlighted her drum kit during tours, saying, “My idol, Sheila E. even has her drums setup in the studio!”

Paisley Park responded to Sheila E.’s Instagram post, explaining that they needed advance notice for such visits. “Hello Sheila – We love and respect you, and we did offer for you to come in and film in the soundstage or other areas, but we couldn’t allow filming in the studios without prior knowledge and planning, especially with tours going on at the time. We hope to have you back to Paisley Park in the future — just give us a heads-up! Happy Prince Day,” the message read, ending with a purple heart emoji.

Sheila E. was in Minnesota for a concert with Morris Day & the Time on Saturday in the northern town of Walker. In her statement, she emphasized her deep connection to Paisley Park, recalling that she was the first artist to record there with Prince and had walked the grounds with him when “the foundation was mere dirt and rope.” She believes her history with the studio should be acknowledged.

Prince, who passed away in 2016 from an accidental fentanyl overdose, did not leave a will. As a result, his estate, including Paisley Park, was inherited by his siblings, who later sold most of their shares. The estate is now owned by two corporations, Primary Wave and Prince Legacy LLC, with a 2% share still held by his sister, Tyka Nelson.

Sheila E.’s heartfelt plea and the subsequent response from Paisley Park highlight the complexities of managing the legacy of a music icon like Prince. While the museum aims to preserve and honor his memory, the incident underscores the challenges faced by those who were personally connected to him.

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