A native of South London, Sandra Cross is the only girl among seven brothers. She started singing in the Pentecostal Church and led the choir when she was nine. At 14, she recorded with a friend as Love & Unity. The recording was the first prize for winning a talent show with a song Sandra wrote entitled “I Adore You.” Released on Studio 16 Records, it was #1 on Britain’s reggae chart for four straight weeks in 1979. They followed with three top five-hits: “I Just Don’t Care,” “I Can’t Let You Go,” and “Put It On,” before splitting up the team.
After the breakup she wanted to go solo but met The Mad Professor, a producer, who had just started Ariwa Sounds. He chose Sandra for an all girls’ band called The Wild Bunch. They recorded three singles, “President Man”, “Creation”, and “Runaround”, and issued the self titled album, which entered the reggae top 20 chart in 1984. They toured Europe for a year before drifting apart. Sandra’s first solo release was a remake of the Stylistics’ “Country Living,” aced British Chart for 10 straight weeks in 1985.
This was the first recording of the newly modified Ariwa Sounds Studios in Gautrey Road, Peckham, as Mad Professor tweeked up the equipment to handle a more sophisticated sound. Her second solo attempt “You’re Lying” nested at the top spot four weeks, Ariwa released her debut solo album “Country Life” in 1986. This too, went to number one. Her third number one, was the sugary “It’s You”, penned by Cross, Mullings and Fraser.
She won the British Reggae Awards for the Best Female Singer six consecutive years from 1985 to 1991. Other awards include, the Radio London Entertainment Celebrity Award in 1986. In 1989 she snagged ‘The Voice’ Newspaper Music Awards as Best Reggae Female Artist, and won the Chicago Radio Awards for the Highest Selling Record in 1990. Ariwa released six albums on Sandra including The Wild Bunch LP;
Ari 15 The Wild Bunch
Ari 26 Country life
Ari 32 Comet in the Sky
Ari 47 Foundation of Love
Ari 66 This is Sandra Cross
Ari 96 100% Lovers Rock
Sandra dropped off the radar in the nineties, retreating to Barbados. She returned to the Uk in 2007 recording once again for Ariwa and a few other labels.