Why did DJ Spinderella leave Salt-N-Pepa? Termination, sticky lawsuit and a look at where hip-hop star is now
DJ Spinderella hasn't let her former Salt-N-Pepa members stop her from continuing her own career, but when did the rocky road start?
As a fan of old-school hip-hop bangers, you would have probably heard of 'Push It', 'Whatta Man' or 'Let's Talk About Sex' by one of the bestselling rap acts of all time, Salt-N-Pepa.
Starting out as a trio and becoming female pioneers in the hip-hop industry, Salt-N-Pepa has been cherished by listeners for over 30 years. But what about their often snubbed third member DJ Spinderella? Salt-N-Pepa has been massively successful but also had its fair share of painful feuds.
Before we get to watch the new Lifetime biopic titled 'Salt-N-Pepa' on January 23 at 8 pm EST, here's a look at why DJ Spinderella is no longer a part of the group and where she is now.
Salt-N-Pepa disbandment and reformation
Since members Cheryl 'Salt' James and Sandra 'Pepa' Denton recruited DJ Spinderella (Deidra Roper) in 1986, up until 2001 it seemed like Salt-N-Pepa were a formidable group of sisters with little indication of major problems. By then, they already had five critically-acclaimed studio albums including the 5x platinum 'Very Necessary' and their classic debut LP 'Hot, Cool & Vicious'.
With no records contractually due around the time of 2001, Salt decided to quit the group, citing reasons that she had enough of the music industry and no longer wanted to be involved in it. In the following year, they officially disbanded.
Later, Salt revealed that she would release a solo debut album, but it never saw the light of day. Meanwhile, Spinderella became a radio personality on KKBT 100.3 and hosted 'The Backspin' (with DJ Mo'Dav), a nationally syndicated weekly radio show featuring old school hip hop music. Additionally, she would deejay at various clubs.
Their first performance as a group in six years, the trio reunited in 2006 to perform on VH-1's 'Hip Hop Honors' program. It was also their first-time collaboration with En Vogue on stage, where they performed 'Whatta Man'. A year earlier, the trio appeared together on Hip Hop Honors as honorees. Then, in 2007, it was announced that Salt-N-Pepa had gotten back together as a group. The trio was disbanded for a total of five years.
Why did DJ Spinderella leave?
The group would continue to tour and perform together, but fast-forward to today and things have heated up. Turns out, Spinderella may not have wanted to leave the group after all. In early 2019, the deejay broke her silence and said that she had been fired from the group.
In a lengthy letter to her fans, she said, "Despite my participation in promoting the tour [the 'Mixtape' tour with New Kids on the Block] and being highly publicized as one of the acts, in January 2019 I received a ‘termination’ email from #SaltnPepa excluding me from performances with the group."
She added that her bandmates had kept the news of her termination hidden from the public, saying, "It was my expectation, after making that decision, that they would also take responsibility for sharing the news with the public and other affected parties. It has been months now with no mention." She further said, "Out of love for my fans and a commitment to upholding a standard of professionalism, I've taken it upon myself to let everyone know. I refuse to participate in misleading fans, ticketholders, and others who -- based on all the advertising -- were anticipating seeing the iconic #SaltnPepa and #Spinderella trio. So, I'm making it clear now."
Her being kicked out after decades of involvement obviously did not sit well with Spinderella and it led to a sticky lawsuit. In October, DJ Spinderella reportedly sued her former Salt-N-Pepa members and sought compensation that goes as far back as the group's 1999 'Best Of' album, as well as royalties from the past decade, according to Billboard. With the addition of a restraining order, she is suing on accounts of fraud, trademark infringement and breach of contract. Spinderella has also prohibited the duo from continuing to use her name and image in the promotion of events.
Where is she now?
As of 2021, further details of the lawsuit are few and far between, but Spinderella still keeps fans up-to-date with her personal and professional life on social media. On January 17, DJ Spinderella featured as a special guest on a Sunday Brunch hosted by The Sip to discuss "legacy, history, and hopes for the future over drinks", according to the bio of the event on YouTube.
Prior to that, Spinderella joined a line-up of deejays in a political fundraiser supporting Gary Chambers Jr.
Her personal life revolves around her family which includes her daughter Christy with NBA basketball player Kenny Anderson. She is currently engaged to comedian, Quenton Coleman.