Pepper MaShay

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Pepper MaShay
Pepper MaShay.jpg
Mashay performing at Gay Pride in Washington D.C. in 2012.
Background information
Also known asJean McClain, Sista Jean McClain
BornJean McClain
GenresDance, gospel, R&B, soul, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, musician, songwriter
Years active1977–present
Associated actsHugh Laurie, Tina Turner, Barry Harris, Cher, Sheryl Crow, Mick Jagger, Celine Dion, Aaron Neville, Vonda Shepard, Bruce Hornsby, CeCe Winans, Bobby Caldwell

Jean McClain (born March 8, 1953), better known as Pepper Mashay, is a soul, house and dance music singer-songwriter[1] who has had success as a touring and studio performer.

Early life[edit]

McClain grew up in Muncie, Indiana. Growing up, her musical influences were Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. She left Indiana in her twenties to pursue her career.


Mashay was contracted to sing back-up for the soundtrack of Tina Turner's movie What's Love Got to Do with It. She spent two days with Tina Turner saying, "She is rock n' roll".

In 1995, Mashay's manager at the time contacted Michael O'Hara to work on an initial demo for a possible recording deal. They wrote five songs together in her California home, but the songs never went anywhere. Mashay ended up writing a song called "Something to Feel" and it got picked up by Island Records. In her thirties, music labels in the '90s thought she was too old for a record deal but she never gave up.

Mashay has an extensive résumé of work as a background and session singer working, most notably, with Gladys Horton in a 1980s regrouping of The Marvelettes. Mashay's photo can be seen on the cover of the CD The Marvelettes: The Very Best of the Motor City Recordings.

As a lead vocalist, Mashay has released many tracks that have performed well on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart and 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. 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. Mashay issued her single, "Got to Give the People What They Want" in late January 2008 and "Does Your Mamma Know" during the fourth quarter of 2008. She toured with House's Hugh Laurie officially as part of his band, Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band.

Mashay has recorded songs for a working title called Requiem for a Heavy Weight, a tribute to an icon in the folk & blues genre.



  • 1995: "Something to Feel"
  • 1995: "By Any Means Necessary" (with Lenny White)
  • 1997: "Happiness"
  • 1997: "Not Much Heaven"
  • 1998: "Into You"
  • 1998: "Right Back to Love" (with Subsystem)
  • 1998: "Step 2 Me" (Grant Nelson feat. Jean McClain)
  • 1998: "Step Into My Life"
  • 1998: "You've Got to Go" (with DJ Alexia)
  • 2000: "Sextacy"
  • 2000: "Here's to Life"
  • 2000: "Dive in the Pool" (with Barry Harris)
  • 2001: "Love Pretender" (with Frank 'O Moiraghi)
  • 2001: "I Got My Pride"
  • 2001: "You and Me (Feels So Good)" (with Solar City)
  • 2002: "I Want You in My Life" (with Max Iron)
  • 2002: "I Pledge"
  • 2002: "Let's Runaway" (with Scott Michael)
  • 2002: "No More Drama" (with Mary J. Blige, Thunderpuss Club Anthem Mix)
  • 2003: "Happy New Year" (with Ernest Kohl)
  • 2003: "I Can't Stop"
  • 2003: "You're My Inspiration"
  • 2004: "Electro Illusion"
  • 2004: "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" (with Colton Ford) (cover of the Stevie Wonder song)
  • 2005: "Send Me an Angel" (cover of the Real Life song)
  • 2005: "Beauty Shop" (featured in the film Beauty Shop)
  • 2006: "Lost Yo Mind"
  • 2008: "Got to Give the People What They Want"
  • 2008: "Does Your Mother Know"
  • 2009: "Freeway of Love" (cover of the Aretha Franklin song)
  • 2009: "Burning" (with World of Colour)
  • 2011: "Love S.O.S."
  • 2011: "Things U Do"
  • 2012: "Our World" (with Clemens Rumpf)
  • 2013: "Dance Florr"

Session work appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bonacich, Drago. "Pepper Mashay - Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 November 2014.

External links[edit]