Sheila E with Prince Tribute custom drum kit by DW Drums at Center Staging, Burbank, CA on June 23, 2016 at rehearsals for BET Awards. Photograph by Rob Shanahan

Sheila E played a one-of-a-kind DW custom kit as part of a special musical celebration honoring Prince at the BET Awards, June 26 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. As a personal tribute to Prince, the drummer/percussionist played a stunning gloss white drumset and matching timbales hand painted with Prince’s iconic “symbol” accented with multi-colored butterflies and finished with gold hardware. The art for the drums was inspired by Sheila E’s recently inked tattoo commemorating the life of the multi-talented artist who passed away on April 21.

“My instrument is the portal into which I pour my heart and soul. It allows me to express what I am feeling. This Sunday, I have the opportunity to share with the world so many of the emotions that I, and many others, have experienced in these past weeks since Prince’s passing. It will be part of our healing process and another step on the road that lies ahead,” said Sheila E.

Sheila E’s electric performance of a medley of Prince classics including, “Erotic City,” “America,” and “Baby I’m a Star” closed the evening’s award ceremony which also featured tributes from the Roots, Janelle Monáe, Stevie Wonder, and Jennifer Hudson, among others.

Photograph by Rob Shanahan