Sandy "Pepa" Denton, who was born on November 9, 1964 in Kingston, Jamaica, moved to Queens, New York when she was a child. She met her close friend and co-founder of her rap band, Salt N Pepa, Cheryl "Salt" James in Queensborough Community College, where they were both taking up nursing. In 1988, they formed the band Salt N Pepa with Deidra Roper, who became their DJ. Two years later, they released their first album, Hot, Cool, & Vicious, which was followed by more successful albums and hits. In 1990, Denton gave birth to her first child, Tyran. Nine years later, she married longtime boyfriend Anthony Criss of the rap group Naughty By Nature, with whom she mothered a baby girl. The two divorced in 2001. A year later, the group disbanded for unclear reasons, but shortly reunited to appear as part of VH1's Hip Hop Honors program. Her other television credits include The Surreal Life, Joe's Apartment, and Oz.
Sandy "Pepa" Denton reunites with her college buddy and band mate Cheryl "Salt" James in VH1's reality series, The Salt N Pepa Show. The series chronicles the two women as they try to resolve their issues and rebuild their relationship, and possibly create fantastic music as they did two decades ago.
(Photo courtesy of VH1)
Jamaican American Sandra “Pepa” Denton, known for being one-third of the all-female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa, originally hails from Kingston, Jamaica. She was born November 9, 1964 on the Caribbean island but her family moved to Queens, New York, when she was just a child. At 21 years old, while studying nursing, she met future rapmate Cheryl “Salt” James. The duo began rapping together and made a debut that very same year, releasing an album called Hot, Cool, & Vicious. The following year, Deidra “Spinderella” Roper joined the duo as disc jockey. The new trio released a second album, A Salt with a Deadly Pepa, two years later in 1988. Dismal sales and poor performance in the charts, however, forced them to disband in 2002. The group reunited three years later to perform in VH1's Hip Hop Honors program.
Other than music, though, Denton also has some acting credits to her name. These include the 1996 musical comedy Joe's Apartment and 1997 HBO drama, Oz. In 1999, she married fellow rapper and long-time boyfriend Anthony Criss, with whom she had a daughter. The two divorced in 2001.
In 2005, Denton was cast in VH1 reality show The Surreal Life Season 5. The show features celebrities who are said to be past their primes and puts them in a Hollywood Hills mansion for two weeks. In this season's circus/carnival theme, Denton was introduced as “the Mystical Musician.” Other than her musical musings, she often had to step in to convince temperamental housemates to not leave the house, such as what she did to supermodel Janice Dickinson. In a later episode, though, she conceded that Dickinson was indeed very unpredictable. In a memorable episode, meanwhile, her former DJ and very good friend, Spinderella arrived as a special guest to start a party.
(Photo courtesy of VH1)