Jean McClain (aka Pepper Mashay) is an Urban/Soul music, House music and Club/Dance singer-songwriter who has had success as a touring and studio performer.
Jean grew up in Muncie, Indiana. She left Indiana in her 20s to pursue a career in music, singing backup to performers such as Tina Turner. Growing up, her musical influences were Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
In 1995, she was discovered by music producer Michael O’Hara while abroad in Europe. She assumed that since she was over 40, she may not ever be discovered as a solo talent. Upon branding, O’Hara gave her the performer name “Pepper”; she added “MaShay” to it despite friends’ objections that the name sounded like one given to a drag queen.
As a lead vocalist she has released many tracks that have performed well on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart and more recently, the Hot Dance Airplay chart. Those singles include “Something To Feel” (1995), “Happiness” (1997), “Step Into My Life” (1998), “Sextacy” (2000) and “Send Me an Angel” (2005). Her voice is probably best known from the “Let’s get soaking wet!” chanting throughout the Barry Harris track “Dive in the Pool”, made famous by its inclusion in the American television series Queer as Folk.
Another collaboration with Harris, “I Got My Pride”, hit number two on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 2001. MaShay has an extensive résumé of work as a background and session singer. In late 2006, Pepper MaShay earned her first solo chart-topper on the U.S. Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart with the song “Lost Yo Mind”. It has attained moderate to heavy rotation on dance-oriented radio stations, charting well on the Hot Dance Airplay. Pepper MaShay issued her new single, “Got To Give The People What They Want” in late January 2008 and “Does Your Mamma Know” during the fourth quarter of 2008.