Cheryl R. James (born March 28, 1966) better known by her stage name “Salt” is an American rapper and actress. She is a member of the rap trio Salt-n-Pepa, which also includes Pepa (Sandra Denton) and Spinderella (Deidra “Dee Dee” Roper). Salt starred in The Salt-n-Pepa Show, a reality TV series focusing on reforming the group.
Cheryl James and Sandra Denton formed Salt-n-Pepa in 1984, they were joined by Latoya Hanson in 1985 who was replaced by Deidra Roper joined in 1986. They released five studio albums: Hot, Cool & Vicious (1986),A Salt with a Deadly Pepa (1988), Blacks’ Magic (1990), Very Necessary (1993), andBrand New (1997). Salt also co-starred in the 1993 motion picture Who’s the Man? In 1997, she recorded the song “Stomp” with gospel artists Kirk Franklin and God’s Property for their album God’s Property, one of the best-selling albums in gospel music history. They were the first female rap act to have gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums, and the first female rap act to win a Grammy. The group disbanded in 2002 but reformed in 2008.
Salt appeared on VH1’s inaugural Hip Hop Honors program in November 2004, along with Pepa, but they did not perform. Salt, Pepa, and Spinderella, however, did perform on the second Hip Hop Honors on September 22, 2005, performing their hit “Whatta Man”. This was the trio’s first performance as Salt-N-Pepa since 1999. On October 23, 2008, Salt-N-Pepa performed “Shoop”, “Push It”, and “Whatta Man” at the 2008 BET Hip Hop Awards. In 2009, Salt was featured in the Generation Gospel Exclusive on 106 & Gospel.
Salt married her husband Gavin Wray on Christmas Eve 2000, She and Wray have two children, a daughter and a son. They currently reside in New York City. She was referenced in Tupac’s song “Keep Ya Head Up.”
In an interview Salt stated she considers herself a feminist “in a way,” emphasizing the need for women to avoid complete emotional and financial dependence on men. Songs like “Tramp” and “Shake Your Thang” by Salt-N-Pepa express these feminist themes of female autonomy.