Cheryl "Pepsii" Riley (born in Brooklyn, New York on October 18, 1961), is an American R&B/gospel singer and actress, best known for her 1988 ballad, "Thanks For My Child."
Riley, who worked as a nurse for handicapped children for ten years before beginning her singing career, topped the R&B charts and hit the Top 40 on the pop chart at #32 with the 1988 heart-stirring ballad, "Thanks for My Child," a song written by Full Force. The genesis of "Thanks for My Child" began with Full Force member Bowlegged Lou's experience with the complications of his wife's first pregnancy.
As pivotal as "Thanks for My Child" was for Riley's career, it was not the first song Lou offered to her. She refused his offer to record "I Wonder If I Take You Home" because she did not want to spread herself too thin, but after it became a million-selling hit for Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam in 1985, she thought she had missed her big break. She considered herself "the biggest loser ever". Then Lou offered her "Thanks for My Child". Riley still had her nurse's job when the song went to number one on the R&B chart.
"Thanks for My Child" spent just one week on the UK charts at #75. As this is the shortest time it is possible to spend in the charts at the lowest possible position to be considered a "hit", the Guiness Book of Hit Singles lists Riley as one of the UK's least successful chart acts.
The title track single to her debut LP Me Myself and I made it to number 18 on the R&B charts in early 1989. Another single, "Every Little Thing About You," peaked at number 55 on the R&B charts later that year. Her second LP, Chapters, was issued and yielded the singles "How Can You Hurt the One You Love" and a cover of Aretha Franklin's 1968 hit "Ain't No Way". Her third album All That! was released by Reprise, and featured the singles "Gimme" and "Guess I'm in Love."
After a hiatus from the entertainment industry, Riley re-emerged in the early 2000s as a star in a number of gospel plays for best-selling playwright Tyler Perry, including Madea's Class Reunion, Madea Goes to Jail, Why Did I Get Married?, and the film version of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. On June 27, 2006, she relesed her first album in 14 years called "Let Me Be Me".
She has a husband named Michael Grace and a son named Johnny. .