Ahead of Mother’s Day, Cheryl “Salt” James of Salt-N-Pepa is sharing that she was advised to get an abortion while she was pregnant with her first child, who is now 31 years old, due to concerns of motherhood ruining her career.
During a recent sit-down interview with Tamron Hall on her self-titled talk show, James and fellow Salt-N-Pepa member, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, discussed the evolution of their incredible career, which spans multiple decades, while touching on the topic of motherhood. The iconic hip-hop duo says they were discouraged from having children as they rose to fame in the mid-80s and early ’90s. Despite facing pushback from their label and managers, Denton says they insisted they were capable of balancing being superstars and mothers, which naturally involved “taking the good with the bad.”
James then proceeded to share a piece of information she’s never said before in public. “I was actually asked to have an abortion. I won’t say by who, but to your point, yeah, you just have to know that it’s something that you’re capable of handling if you want a kid and you want to have a career, and it’s definitely harder,” she explained to Hall. “Having my daughter, besides finding Jesus, is the best thing that I’ve ever experienced… Like I needed that little baby in my life. She kept me company on the road.”
Hall went on to acknowledge how James and Denton’s fearlessness helped to inspire other women in show business to do the same, citing Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show performance as a perfect example. Fans and onlookers learned that the Barbados-born singer-turned-entrepreneur was pregnant with her second child.
James and Denton proved the naysayers wrong because becoming mothers didn’t stop the show. Salt-N-Pepa, along with DJ Spinderella, are regarded as trailblazers for women in hip-hop. In 1986, their debut album, Hot, Cool & Vicious, sold over four million copies worldwide, making them the first female rappers to achieve gold and platinum status in the U.S.
Throughout their career, they also earned two back-to-back top 5 singles, “Shoop” and “Whatta Man” with En Vogue, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Among their many awards and accolades include a Grammy for best rap performance by a duo or group for their 1994 single, “None Of Your Business.”
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