The Women Who Rock Benefit Concert is one of Pittsburgh’s most unique and empowering events of the year. Held this year on October 16th, 2021 at Stage AE and Presented by Gibson Gives, the event features a star-studded all-female music lineup, and highlights all the amazing women making an impact on the community and the world. The Concert culminates with the Women Who Rock Impact Award, given to a trailblazer or wavemaker who have made an impact in the world. Women who are paving the way for more women to follow and this year, that is Sheila E.
Sheila E. has been making music and making waves her entire life. She first picked up the drumsticks at the age of 3, and hasn’t looked back since. She’s established herself as one of the best drummers in the world, with decades worth of work with many of the greatest artists of all time, as well as massive success on her own. According to Pitchfork “Women make up only 19 percent of the average music festival lineup”, making Sheila E.’s success in the male dominated music industry even more impactful.
After Prince was particularly wowed by her, she went on to contribute to many of Prince’s biggest works, including Purple Rain. She found solo success with songs like “The Glamorous Life” and “Love Bizarre”, played at the “We are the World” session, racked up nominations from all the major awards, sold out shows, and played the Oscars, in a memorable performance with Placido Domingo.
Few people have ever had the trailblazing, era-spanning career that Sheila E. has. Outside of Prince, her list of collaborators includes, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Con Funk Shun, Marvin Gaye (on his final world tour), Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, and Steve Nicks among others. And that doesn’t even come close to the end of the list of her other accomplishments, which have stretched from being television’s first female musical director (for Magic Johnson’s “The Magic Hour”), to being nominated for an Emmy for her leadership as musical director for President Obama’s Performance at The White House: Fiesta Latina.
And Sheila E. hasn’t slowed down. She continues to produce and perform music, has published her memoir, The Beat of my Own Drum, and hosts her show Sheila E. TV. Sheila E.’s success highlights the importance of Women Who Rock having a 100% female-fronted music lineup, and the need to spread awareness of gender inequality in the music industry.
When asked about what it means to receive the Women Who Rock Impact Award for 2021, Sheila E. said: I am honored and humbled to be recognized for the Impact Award. Thank you to Women Who Rock and Magee-Womens Research Institute for the incredible and life changing work you do. When I think of impact, I think of all of the women—mentors, my mother, my grandmother, sisters, colleagues, new and lifelong friends—who have lifted me up throughout the years and continually inspired me to pay it forward. My career in the music industry has been shaped by a drive to change the narrative of what it means to be a female musician. While it’s been beyond rewarding to see the change happen—and have acknowledged the changes that still need to be made—another gift has been a lesson. That the greatest strength comes from our ability to connect, grow with, lift up and celebrate each other, all paired with the inner courage to say “I can.”
This year’s Women Who Rock Impact Award is sponsored by Peoples, an essential utilities company.
A one-of-a-kind experience for performers and guests alike, the Women Who Rock Benefit Concert will truly be a celebration of all the women who make a lasting impact on the world. This year’s line up is guest starring Rita Wilson, Lauren Monroe with special guest Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Women Who Rock Impact Award Recipient Sheila E., The Vindys, DJ Femi, with more special guests to be announced. Emceed by Michele Michaels of 102.5 FM WDVE. With various experiences like The Beauty Bar, Silent Auction, VIP Lounge, and Photo Booth in addition to the live music there’s something for everyone. And with all the proceeds going to the Magee-Womens Research Institute, the largest research institute in the U.S. focused solely on the health of women and infants, you won’t want to miss out on this very special night.
Women Who Rock Benefit Concert takes place Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Stage AE Pittsburgh. Tickets go on sale July 30th, visit here to purchase your tickets today!