Within a year, Sheila moved back with her mom in Ohio and headed for trouble. She ran away to North Carolina. When Sheila was 16, she was in an auto accident that lodged her right eye into the back of her skull. It took her many years to recover.
*Sheila is one of 12 children that Ray Charles fathered. She was raised in Cambridge, Ohio, by her mother and didn’t meet her father until she was 14 years old. Sheila suffered sexual abuse during her childhood and as a result spent many years struggling to find her identity. At 13, Sheila moved to Los Angeles to live with her Uncle Jerry and hoped to establish a relationship with her father.
She returned to Los Angeles, this time with her mom and her brother Kevin. She tried to launch a musical career and had the opportunity to record at Ray’s studio under his supervision. Sheila travelled with the DeBarge family and found herself in Minneapolis to record at Paisley Park, Prince’s studio. Unfortunately, Sheila was unable to produce any music that the music industry found marketable so she began writing with various musicians and producers. In 1990, Sheila was voted New Artist of the Year at the Minnesota Black Music Awards and continued to receive advice from her father on her musical career.
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