Heather Small, a lead vocalist born and raised in London, England, was first a member of Hot House, an R&B trio that released a pair of albums during the late '80s. When she auditioned and won the role in the group, she was still a teenager. Shortly after Hot House's breakup, she joined the Manchester-based and further house-oriented M People, who were coincidentally on the same label -- Deconstructed -- as her previous group. Though M People didn't make much of an impact in the U.S., apart from the club scene, their four albums released throughout the '90s reportedly sold over ten million copies worldwide. From there, M People ground to a halt and Small released her first solo album, Proud, in 2000. It was a significant retreat from the dancefloor, featuring a mixture of R&B and rock -- the kind of material that wouldn't have been out of place on albums by Seal, Sade, or Des'ree.