Salt-n-Pepa is an American hip hop trio consisting of Cheryl "Salt" Renee James, Sandra "Pepa" Denton, and Deidra "DJ Spinderella" Roper, who were one of the first all-female rap crews. Originally calling themselves Super Nature, James and Denton debuted in 1985 with the single "The Showstopper" which became a modest R&B hit.
With the success of this song, the group's name was changed to Salt-N-Pepa and the group's first album Hot, Cool & Vicious was released afterwards in 1986. The album provided some moderate R&B hits with the singles "My Mic Sound Nice", "Tramp", and "Chick On The Side". "Push It" became a platinum single in the United States, and a hit in several other countries, and was added to subsequent pressings of Hot, Cool & Vicious. It was nominated for a Grammy Award, and the strength of that single catapulted the album to platinum sales in the US with one million sold, making Denton, James, and Roper the first female rap act to go gold or platinum and the album sold 1.3 million copies worldwide.
Salt-N-Pepa's next album release, 1988's A Salt with a Deadly Pepa, contained the Top Ten R&B hit and moderate pop hit "Shake Your Thang", featuring the go-go band E.U. A top 20 R&B hit and a minor pop hit were also seen in "Get Up Everybody" and "Twist and Shout".
The group's third album Blacks' Magic was released in March 1990, and was a personal album for the trio on many fronts. Six singles became hits: "Expression"; "Independent"; "I Don't Know"; "Do You Want Me"; "Let's Talk About Sex" which was later re-recorded as "Let's Talk About AIDS"; and "You Showed Me". The album sold 1.6 million copies worldwide with a million of those sold in the US. A greatest hits album called A Blitz of Salt-N-Pepa Hits, featuring some remixed versions of songs from the group's first three albums was subsequently released.
Very Necessary was released in October 1993 and singles "Shoop", "Whatta Man" (featuring En Vogue) and "None of Your Business". The album sold seven million worldwide, with five million of those in the US (5x platinum), making them the first female rap act to have a multi-platinum selling album. The group toured and the trio won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1995 for the single "None Of Your Business", making them the first female rap Grammy winners. The album is the best selling album by a female rap act.
Their fifth album, Brand New was released on Red Ant in 1997. However, Red Ant filed for bankruptcy soon afterwards, halting promotion on all its releases, including Salt-N-Pepa's album. The group toured in support of the album, they only scored minor hits such as "R U Ready" and "Gitty Up". The album sold 1,700,000 copies and the group kept intact an unbroken string of gold and platinum studio album releases.
With no albums contractually due at the time, Salt decided to quit the group, stating she had enough with the music industry and no longer wanted to be involved in it. They officially disbanded in 2002.
Both Salt and Pepa appeared on VH-1's Hip Hop Honors in November 2004, as the trio were honorees. All three women reunited the following year for the next Hip Hop Honors program and performed "Whatta Man" with En Vogue. It was the trio's first performance in six years, and was their first performance of Whatta Man with En Vogue on stage ever.