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Long Beach Pride 2018: Sheila E. announced as festival headliner

LONG BEACH — Sheila E. will headline Long Beach Pride, organizers announced today.

The 35th annual Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival will take place May 19 and 20 on Shoreline Drive between Shoreline Village Drive and Alamitos Avenue at Marina Green and Rainbow Lagoon parks.

The percussionist-singer will perform May 20 at the event’s main stage, according to a press release from Long Beach Gay and Lesbian Pride, the nonprofit group that produces the two-day festival and parade.

The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade will take place May 20 along Ocean Boulevard.

Tickets are$20 online and and $25 at the gate.

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Each year, about 80,000 people attend the festival and parade, which were founded by Bob Crow, Marilyn Barlow and Judith Doyle, who established the event in 1983 as a way to empower and support the local gay and LGBTQ community.

Born in Oakland, Sheila E. (aka Sheila Cecelia Escovedo) began her career in the mid 1970s as a percussionist and singer for The George Duke Band. After leaving the group in 1983, Sheila E. began a successful solo career, starting with her critically acclaimed debut album, which included the career-defining song, “The Glamorous Life.”

That same year, Sheila E. joined Marvin Gaye’s final tour “Midnight Love Tour” as a percussionist.

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Sheila E. garnered mainstream pop success in 1985 following the success of the singles, “The Belle of St. Mark,” “Sister Fate,” and “A Love Bizarre,” which also became a signature song.

Sheila E. also worked with Prince more than 20 years, including “Purple Rain” recording sessions in 1984 and numerous performances.

Sheila headlined the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in 2012.

In 2014, Sheila E. released her autobiography, “Beat of My Own Drum,” and her seventh CD, “Icon.”

Sheila E. will headline Long Beach Pride May 20. Photo: Rob Shanahan.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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