Prince collaborator Sheila E. says she's 'heartbroken' at being turned away from Paisley Park

FILE - Sheila E. appears at the 66th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 4, 2024. The musician said in an Instagram video that she was hurt when she was denied access to Prince's studio at Paisley Park to honor the late musician on his 66th birthday last Friday. Paisley Park, now a museum, posted on its own Instagram account that it just needed some advance warning. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) (Jordan Strauss)

MINNEAPOLIS – Sheila E. figured she'd be welcome if she showed up unannounced to record some video at Paisley Park where the Grammy-nominated percussionist once collaborated with her mentor and one-time fiancée, the late rock superstar Prince. She was wrong.

She said in an Instagram video that she was hurt when she went there to pay her respects on Friday, which would have been his 66th birthday, but was not let into a studio. She said that it “won't take away the joy that he and I had together” at the studio in suburban Minneapolis, which is now a museum in his memory.

Recommended Videos

“I went in to celebrate him, and I wanted to go into the studio and do a live video, take a picture, and they said, ‘No.’ “ Sheila said. ”My heart’s broke. I can’t even walk into Paisley. That’s kind of messed up. ... Not a nice way to celebrate his birthday.”

In a follow-up statement released through her publicist on Monday, Sheila said she now wants the museum to return her old drum kit, which she said Prince personally asked to “borrow” to display there. She said she even heard a tour guide say, “My idol, Sheila E. even has her drums setup in the studio!”

Paisley Park posted on its own Instagram account that it just needed some advance warning.

“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, ended by a purple heart emoji.

Sheila was in Minnesota for a concert with Morris Day & the Time on Saturday in the northern town of Walker. In her statement Monday, she said she was the first artist to record at Paisley Park with Prince and walked the grounds with him when “the foundation was mere dirt and rope.” So she thinks her history should count for something.

Prince had no will when he died in 2016 of an accidental fentanyl overdose, so his estate, including Paisley Park, went to his siblings, who later sold most of their shares. His estate is now owned by two corporations, the music management company Primary Wave and Prince Legacy LLC, with a 2% share still held by his sister, Tyka Nelson.

Recommended Videos