But behind the scenes, the talented musician and pop icon struggled with dark inner demons and self-hatred; deep wounds that resulted from a violent rape and years of childhood sexual abuse that she kept secret from everyone, including her loving family. A fighter and a survivor, Sheila rediscovered a sense of safety and security by following her life’s passion and banging her heart out on a drum. She credits the music with saving her life.
This summer, Sheila will take on a project very near and dear to her heart: she will be leading a master class for a group of young teenagers in her hometown of Oakland, California; these teens, like Sheila, are all survivors of sexual abuse. Together they will talk about their experiences, write lyrics, play music, laugh, cry and heal together– and ultimately record an album of the music they create. The weeks of working together will culminate in a live concert, with the young musicians playing onstage alongside their mentor and confidante, the incomparable Sheila E.
“Without Love, it Ain’t Much” will follow Sheila over the course of the next year, documenting this extraordinary collaboration with the young artists and simultaneously recounting Sheila’s amazing life story through a collage of historical footage, celebrity interviews, and never-before-seen film and photos from Sheila’s personal archives.