Sheila E Calls Loss of Music Legend Prince 'Surreal'

Sheila E was Prince's former fiancee and music collaborator.

ByKatie Kindelan
April 22, 2016, 7:45 AM

— -- Sheila E said Prince told her he knew he was going to marry her from the moment they first met at a concert in 1978.

One day after Prince’s death, his former fiancée and music collaborator calls the loss of the music legend “unreal.”

“It’s unreal. It’s surreal. I miss him dearly,” Sheila E said today on “Good Morning America” from Minneapolis, where she flew from Los Angeles after learning of Prince’s death on Thursday at the age of 57.

The “Purple Rain” singer was found unresponsive inside his Paisley Park home in Minnesota, according to officials.

Sheila E called the home where Prince died a “dynasty” and a “museum.”

“It’s a place where he created,” she said of the home where fans gathered Thursday in tribute. “He’s created music that no one has ever done before. He had his own sound and he did it for the people.”

The pair met at one of Prince’s concerts in Oakland, California, in 1978 and were engaged years later when Prince proposed to Sheila E onstage during a performance of “Purple Rain.”

“I was playing drums at the time,” she recalled. “He turned around and looked at me and asked me to marry him and I said, ‘Yes.’”

Sheila E's biggest hits -- 1984's "The Glamorous Life" and 1985's "A Love Bizzare" -- were both collaborations with Prince. The musician also sang background on Prince's hit songs "Let's Go Crazy" and "Erotic City," and was his percussionist for several tours.

"He was a private person. Everyone knows that and there’s things that we have shared, him and I together, that people will never know," Sheila E said. "They are our moments."

The cause of Prince’s death remains under investigation. Sheila E described Prince as an athlete who suffered injuries from his performances but she was unaware of any other ailments.

“We know that he’s had issues with his hips,” she said. “If you look back in the days of ‘Purple Rain’ when he was on top of risers and jumping down off risers in those heels, you know, it damaged parts of his body.”

“I know we’re always injured when we play on stage,” she said. “I don’t know anything other than that.”

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