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Sheila E. reveals why she felt tricked by music producers in the 1980s: ‘The was cold-blooded!’

Written by on January 30, 2024

The 66-year-old singer teamed up with songwriters Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie as well as producers Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian to sing on the charity record in in 1985 but has recalled that those behind the track knew she was close friends with late megastar Prince and tried to use her to get him involved as well.

She told Rolling Stone Music Now: “Lionel and Quincy kept saying, ‘Why don’t you call Prince’? Everyone took turns trying to get me to call him back and have him come down…. I just thought, wow, they were all my friends. That’s cold-blooded.”

The ‘Droppin’ Like Flies’ hitmaker sang with several other artists as part of the USA For Africa supergroup, including the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, and the Jackson 5 in what has been titled ‘The Greatest Night in Pop’ for a new documentary and vocal arranger Tom Bahler recalled ‘Hello’ hitmaker Lionel Richie making two specific requests ahead of the recording.

He said: “[He told me] he had two requests. One is, Lionel was the first one to write this, to begin it, so he should be the first voice we hear. Then, because Michael came in and they finished it together, Michael should sing the first chorus.’ And then, this is his humor, he said, ‘And I think you should bring Diana in for the second half of the first chorus, because some people think they’re the same person.”

The song went on to sell 20 million copies worldwide and ‘The Greatest Night in Pop’ – which features new interviews with the musicians behind it – is now streaming on Netflix.


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