Mostly influenced by the folk-rock scene of the late '60s, Pepper Mashay (born Jean McClain) was planning a career as a rock singer/songwriter before visiting a European night club where she decided to turn to dance music. During the 1980s and 1990s, Jean McClain teamed up with prominent producers and artists to participate in successful records such as Michael Bolton's "Time, Love and Tenderness," Cher's "Love Hurts," Tina Turner's "What's Love Got to Do With It," and Whitney Houston's "My Love Is Your Love." In 1991, she joined a vocal group called Voyceboxing. Lenny White produced their debut album. Her highly anticipated solo career began in 1993 after meeting producer Michael O'Hara.
Pepper Mashay's debut came in 1995 with the release of "Something to Feel," followed by "Into You," "Happiness," and "Right Back to Love." In 2000, her smash "Dive In the Pool" became a chart-topping song in the dance/club scene and achieved the Best Underground 12" award at the Miami Winter Music Conference. A year later, "I Got My Pride," produced by Barry Harris, topped the Billboard dance music chart.