Salt-N-Pepa hail ‘strong women’ in music industry at Walk of Fame star ceremony

Salt-N-Pepa have praised the “strong women” who came before them in the music industry as they were honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The all-female rap trio highlighted those who had “endured misogyny…but somehow find a way to persevere” in a male dominated field at the ceremony in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Known as the First Ladies of Hip-Hop, Salt-N-Pepa are credited as pioneers of the genre, bringing fun, fashion, and femininity to hip-hop.

The group consists of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper.

They enjoyed major success in the 1990s with their album Very Necessary, which boasted two top five hits, Shoop and Whatta Man, and went platinum five times over.

Salt-N-Pepa are credited as pioneers of hip-hop (Richard Shotwell/AP)

But it was the track None Of Your Business that won them the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, in 1995.

Salt-N-Pepa were joined by fellow rappers MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante, who spoke ahead of the presentation.

In the first of the three separate speeches, Salt said: “I can’t thank everyone obviously because there’s too many people that contributed to our career, from the women who came before…to our peers and all the strong women who endorsed so much in this industry.

“The women who have endured misogyny in this industry, but somehow find a way to persevere, but the women behind the scenes who never get to shine, women who are overlooked and underestimated, just keep on pushing it.”

Pepa added that she was “lost for words” and that the moment was “bittersweet” as her late father was not there to see the success he had inspired.

“He was like, you’ve got to be strong, you’ve got to exceed in life, be accomplished. And so when he passed, that’s all I could think about,” she said.

She added: “You know with the struggle for a woman in a male-dominated field to this day…we stay true, we stay focused on what you can do.

Salt-N-Pepa star
Their star is the 2,738th on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Richard Shotwell/AP)

“It went against all odds, against all trials and tribulations, turbulence, and that’s what it is, you just keep focused on the high score, keep going.”

DJ Spinderella said the music of Salt-N-Pepa was “a movement felt globally”.

“Women everywhere were inspired forever, changed by the message of strength and independence,” she said.

“And what that message did for you guys, it also did for me as well.”

Salt-N-Pepa met as students at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, Queens, in New York, where they created a diss track that became a local hit.

Soon after DJ Spinderella joined the duo as their official DJ.

Raised in Brooklyn, New York and only 16 at the time, Spinderella is considered the most celebrated female DJ in hip-hop.

Salt-N-Pepa were joined by fellow rappers MC Lyte and Roxanne Shante (Richard Shotwell/AP)

Among their many accomplishments, the group became the first female rap act to have an album go gold and then platinum.

They became, along with Queen Latifah, the first female MCs to win a Grammy and have become international superstars, taking hip-hop from Russia to Australia.

1993’s Very Necessary album is still the best-selling album of all time by any female rap artists.

Their star is the 2,738th on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is awarded in the recording category.