||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2008)|
2013 photograph of Denton performing in concert with Salt-n-Pepa at the Canberra Theatre, Australia.
|Birth name||Sandra Denton|
|Also known as||Pepa, Sandy Denton|
November 9, 1969 |
|Origin||New York City, New York, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip-Hop, Dance, Rap|
|Labels||Next Plateau, London/PolyGram, Red Ant|
|Associated acts||Salt-n-Pepa, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, Run DMC, Fat Boys, Kid N Play|
Sandra Denton (born November 9, 1969) better known by her stage name "Pepa" is an Jamaican-born American hip hop artist and actress, best known for her work as a member of the female rap trio Salt-n-Pepa.
Early life and education
Born in Kingston, Jamaica on November 9, 1969, Denton's family moved to Queens, New York when she was a child. In 1985, while studying nursing at Queensborough Community College, she met Cheryl "Salt" James.
With production by Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor", James and Denton released a single called "The Showstopper" which became a moderate R&B hit. Shortly after in 1986, Deidra "Spinderella" Roper joined as the group's DJ as a full-length debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, was being released. The trio released a total of five studio albums: "Hot, Cool, and Vicious" (1986), A Salt with a Deadly Pepa (1988), Blacks' Magic (1990), Very Necessary (1993), and Brand New (1997), plus several greatest hits albums.
Salt-n-Pepa disbanded in 2002 several months after their Brand New album was released on Red Ant Records. Pepa's group member Salt had stated she was ready to leave the music industry. The trio reunited for a performance on VH1's Hip Hop Honors program on September 22, 2005.
In 2005, Pepa was a cast member of VH1's The Surreal Life (season 5). Pepa's acting credits also include the motion picture Joe's Apartment, an appearance in the HBO movie First Time Felon, and a stint as Officer Andrea Phelan on the HBO drama, Oz. She also starred on The Surreal Life: Fame Games.
Salt-n-Pepa reformed in 2008, and are still in the process of releasing an album since reforming as they work out past issues. Pepa teamed up with Salt for VH1's The Salt-N-Pepa Show. Pepa also starred in her own reality show on the network entitled Let's Talk About Pep, a name play-off the group's hit song "Let's Talk About Sex". She can also be heard speaking a Jamaican chant in the song "Need U Bad" by Jazmine Sullivan.
In August 2008, Pepa released her autobiography, which was also entitled Let's Talk About Pep. It was co-written by Karen Hunter, and it offered a look behind the fame, family, failures, and successes of her life in one of hip-hop's most successful groups. It features an introduction by Queen Latifah, and an epilogue by Missy Elliott. To accommodate the book, Pepa launched her own social network for her fans. On October 23, 2008 Salt-N-Pepa performed at the BET Hip Hop Awards.
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In 1990, Pepa gave birth to her first child, son Tyran Moore. She made a guest appearance on Ricki Lake in 1993, teaching teenage girls the responsibilities of being a mother. In 1999, she married Treach of the rap group Naughty by Nature. She and Treach had one daughter, Egypt Jahnari Criss (born September 2, 1998). Due to allegations of physical abuse by Treach, they divorced in 2001.