What is Sandra Denton’s Net Worth?
Sandra Denton, known by her stage name Pepa, is a Jamaican-American rapper and actress who has a net worth of $15 million. Sandra Denton rose to fame as a member of the female hip hop trio Salt-N-Pepa. One of the first major all-female rap groups, the Grammy Award-winning trio has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. Beyond her music, Denton has appeared in a number of movies, and has starred on reality television programs including “The Salt-N-Pepa Show” and “Growing Up Hip Hop.”
Early Life and Education
Sandra Denton was born on November 9 in either 1964 or 1969 in Kingston, Jamaica. She was the youngest of eight children of Enid and Charles. Until she was six years old, Denton lived with her grandmother on a farm. She later joined her parents, who had moved to the Queens borough of New York City. When Denton was 15, the family’s home caught fire; subsequently, she was sent to live with her sister Patsy in Logan, Utah. There, Denton attended Logan High School, and became interested in rock music after listening to such bands as Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. After a year in Utah, she returned to New York and went to Springfield Gardens High School. Later, Denton enrolled at Queensborough Community College as a nursing major.
While working in customer service for Sears, Denton and her friend Cheryl James met Haitian musician and hip hop producer Hurby Azor. Together, they released the single “The Show Stoppa,” which turned into a moderate R&B hit in 1985. Following this, the group added DJ Latoya Hanson, and signed to Next Plateau Entertainment. Under the stage name Salt-N-Pepa, they released their debut album, “Hot, Cool & Vicious,” in 1986. One of the first major albums by an all-female hip hop group, it went on to become certified Gold in the US. It also spawned the hit single “Push It,” one of Salt-N-Pepa’s most popular tracks.
After Latoya Hanson left the group in 1987, Salt-N-Pepa recruited 15-year-old Deidra Roper to take her place. The group subsequently released its second album, “A Salt with a Deadly Pepa,” in July of 1988. It contained the hit singles “Shake Your Thang” and “Twist and Shout.” Following this, in 1990, the group released “Blacks’ Magic,” which launched a number of hit singles including “Expression,” “I Don’t Know,” and “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Salt-N-Pepa went on to release the hugely popular “Very Necessary” in 1993, which peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hit singles “Shoop” and “Whatta Man.” It went on to become certified five-times Platinum, and earned Salt-N-Pepa their first Grammy Award. The group’s final album, “Brand New,” came out in 1997. Salt-N-Pepa disbanded in 2002, but briefly reunited for a 2005 performance on VH1’s “Hip Hop Honors.”
On television, Denton made a guest appearance as herself in a 2000 episode of the Showtime series “Linc’s.” She also had a recurring role as Officer Andrea Phelan in six episodes of the HBO prison drama “Oz.” In 2005, Denton joined the fifth-season cast of VH1’s reality series “The Surreal Life.” A couple years later, she starred on the same channel’s “The Salt-N-Pepa Show,” which chronicled the lives of both Denton and Cheryl James in the years following the breakup of Salt-N-Pepa. Also on VH1, Denton had her own reality show called “Let’s Talk About Pep.” In 2016, she and her daughter Egypt joined the reality series “Growing Up Hip Hop,” which documents the lives of the children of hip hop stars.
Among her other television credits, Denton appeared in an episode of the TBS sitcom “Are We There Yet?” in 2011. Later, she played the character of Polly in the made-for-TV disaster film “Sharknado 2: The Second One,” and made a guest appearance as herself on the sitcom “Family Time.”
Denton made her big-screen debut in 1992, when she and her fellow members of Salt-N-Pepa appeared in the fantasy comedy “Stay Tuned.” Following this, Denton was in the comedy “Who’s the Man?,” the erotic drama “Jason’s Lyric,” the musical comedy “Joe’s Apartment,” and the crime drama “First Time Felon,” starring Omar Epps and Delroy Lindo.
In the early 2000s, Denton appeared in the crime film “3 A.M.,” with Danny Glover and Pam Grier, and the action film “Love and a Bullet,” starring Naughty by Nature rapper Treach. She also appeared alongside Treach in the romcom “Book of Love.” Among Denton’s later credits are “The Perfect Holiday,” starring Gabrielle Union, Morris Chestnut, and Terrence Howard; and “Sandy Wexler,” with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin James, Terry Crews, Rob Schneider, and Arsenio Hall, among others.
Personal Life and Business Interests
During the mid-80s, Denton was briefly engaged to rapper Prince Markie Dee, a member of the hip hop group the Fat Boys. She subsequently dated rapper Tyran “Tah-Tah” Moore, with whom she had a son, Tyran Jr., in 1990. Denton went on to date Naughty by Nature rapper Anthony Criss, better known by his stage name Treach; after dating on-and-off for around seven years, the pair got married in 1999. Denton and Treach have a daughter named Egypt. The couple divorced in 2001, with Denton alleging physical abuse by Treach.
As a businesswoman, Denton owned the retail clothing store HollyHood, which opened in November of 1995 in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. The company has since dissolved.