Cheryl Pepsii Riley

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Cheryl Pepsii Riley
Born Cheryl Ann Riley
(1968-10-18) October 18, 1968 (age 49)
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.[1]
Education Clara Barton High School
  • Singer–songwriter
  • actress
Years active 1986–present
Spouse(s) Mike Grace
(m. 2003; div. 2009)
Children 1
Musical career
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts

Cheryl Ann "Pepsii" Riley (born October 18, 1968) is an American singer and actress. Riley is perhaps best known for her music during the late–1980s through the early–1990s, most notable; 1988's R&B ballad "Thanks for My Child".[3][1][4] Riley also starred in Tyler Perry's stage–plays including; Madea's Class Reunion (2003) and Why Did I Get Married? (2006).


Early life and career[edit]

Born Cheryl Ann Riley in Brooklyn, Riley attended Clara Barton High School. After high school, Riley worked as a nurse for handicapped children before beginning her singing career. In November 1988, Riley topped the US R&B chart and hit the Top 40 on the pop chart at #32 with the ballad, "Thanks for My Child," a song written by Full Force.[1] The song peaked at #75 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1989.[5] The genesis of "Thanks for My Child" began with Full Force member Bowlegged Lou's experience with the complications of his wife's first pregnancy.[1] The title track single to her debut LP Me Myself and I made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in early 1989. Another single, "Every Little Thing About You," peaked at number 55 on the R&B charts later that year. Her second LP, Chapters, was issued and yielded the singles "How Can You Hurt the One You Love" and a cover of Aretha Franklin's 1968 hit "Ain't No Way". Her third album All That! was released by Reprise, and featured the singles "Gimme" and "Guess I'm in Love."

Later career[edit]

After a hiatus from the entertainment industry, Riley re-emerged in the late 90's by appearing on the songs "I Love It" and "Look Around" on The Beatnuts album A Musical Massacre. Riley also starred in a number of gospel plays for best-selling playwright Tyler Perry, including Madea's Class Reunion, Madea Goes to Jail, Why Did I Get Married?, Laugh to Keep from Crying, Madea's Big Happy Family and the most recent, A Madea Christmas. Riley also appeared in the film versions of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea's Big Happy Family. She is also starred in Tyler Perry's Madea Gets A Job (2012) and Tyler Perry's Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned (2014). On June 27, 2006, she released her first album in fourteen years, called Let Me Be Me.

Personal life[edit]

In 2003, Riley married Chicago native Mike Grace and together they had a son named John Grace. In a recent interview with Lenny Green, Riley mentioned that the she and Grace had divorced.



  • 1988: Me, Myself & I (#128 Billboard 200, #9 R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)
  • 1991: Chapters (#62 R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)
  • 1993: All That!
  • 2006: Let Me Be Me
  • 2015: Still Believe


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vladimir Bogdanov (2014). "All Music Guide to Soul: The Definitive Guide to R&B and Soul". Google Books. f Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved January 13, 2018. 
  2. ^ "JET's Top 20 Albums". Google Books. JET Magazine/Johnson Publishing Company. December 5, 1988. Retrieved January 13, 2018. 
  3. ^ Greg Tate (April 1, 1996). "Revolutions". Google Books. Vibe Magazine. Retrieved January 13, 2018. 
  4. ^ "People Are Talking About..." Google Books. JET Magazine/Johnson Publishing Company. March 13, 1989. Retrieved January 13, 2018. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 463. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.