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Sheila E. Tells of Her Loves and Being Raped in Book

Drummer and percussionist Sheila E.'s tells of being engaged to Carlos Santana and about being raped at age 5 in her autobiography.
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Days before the release of Sheila E.'s autobiography, news spread that she was once engaged to Prince. The bigger bombshell, however, didn't get nearly as much attention.

"Pretty much, I was engaged to Carlos Santana. That was huge and no one knew about that," said the 56-year-old drummer, who dated a married Santana when she was 18. "I thought people would be talking about that, and it's more about, 'She was engaged to Prince!' Really?"

"The Beat of My Own Drum," the musician's memoir released through Simon & Schuster's Atria Books earlier this month, features stories that range from working with Marvin Gaye, Ringo Starr and Lionel Richie to being raped at age 5.

epa04311472 US drummer Sheila E performs on stage at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 11 July 2014. EPA/PAUL BERGENPAUL BERGEN / EPA

When writing about being raped — a topic the performer has discussed over the years — she thought she could share her story without hardship. It wasn't hard, at first, "but when I really had to dig in and really get in detail about it, when I read it back, that's when it hit me, like, 'Wow. OK,'" she said.

She said she has to "go in deep to explain really what happened and to explain it in a way that I think that I remember it at 5 years old, not how I remember it now."

The Grammy-nominated star, whose hits include "The Glamorous Life" and "A Love Bizarre" said writing her first book — completed with co-writer Wendy Holden — has inspired her to write more, including children's books.

_ The Associated Press

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