Sheila E. Says She Felt Used To Lure Prince Into Singing ‘We Are The World’

Although Prince ultimately declined, the iconic 1985 song featured Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick among others.

In 1985, musical trailblazers came together to sing a song for a deserving cause, but Sheila E. says she felt manipulated.

That deserving project was to join the charity single "We Are the World," but it never panned out for her or Prince. While speaking to PEOPLE on Tuesday (Jan. 29) at the premiere of "The Greatest Night in Pop," on Netflix takes fans into the making of the single, the famous drummer opened up on what went down before the song was recorded.

In the film –out on the streaming platform now–Sheila E. revealed feeling cajoled to lure Prince onto the song.

"I was looking forward to singing one of the verses, but they kept asking, ‘Well, do you think you can get Prince here?’ I’m like, ‘Wow, this is weird,’” she said in the film.

"And I just started feeling like, ‘I feel like I’m being used, to be here, because they want Prince to show up and the longer they keep me, maybe Prince will show up.’ I already knew he wasn’t gonna come, ‘cause there was too many people and he would feel uncomfortable," she continued. "I told Lionel, I said, ‘I’m gonna go.’ They never intended on having me sing a verse, which was a little bit… heartbreaking."

Prince ultimately declined to participate, but it wasn’t because he wasn’t a fan of the song.

Sheila E. told the outlet, "He liked it," but was more in tune with the musical community engaged in creating it, which featured Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, and Dionne Warwick, among others. "It's really not just about the song, it was really about the camaraderie of everyone coming together for that reason."

While he was on board with the idea, Prince had other commitments that prevented him from joining the singers. During this time, he was also on the road for his "Purple Rain Tour.” Additionally, he was giving his time in other philanthropic ways.

"We were already giving to so many, not just foundations, but a lot of the times on that tour before we even got to that night, we were already stopping at children's hospitals and doing free concerts for the kids who have cancer and disabilities," she said.

"So, it's not like he missed out or anything like that. That was his decision, and that's fine. It's not like he hated it or loved it or anything like that. It was just too much."

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