Lisa Stansfield's style is one of soul, jazz and dance music. Born in 1966 in Manchester, England, Stansfield admits that her mother's playing of Diana Ross and the Supremes was her first musical influence; later idols included Barry White and Marvin Gaye. Having no formal training, she joined talent contests and social clubs to perfect her talent. Her first break came in the early '80s, when she got the job presenting a British TV show called "Razzamatazz." Around 1983, Lisa, and former schoolmates, Andy Morris and Ian Devaney, formed the group Blue Zone UK. They first signed with Rockin' Horse Records, and then later with Arista Records. They recorded the album Big Thing, and had a local hit with the song "Jackie."
Devaney and Morris had worked previously with the production team of Matt Black and Jonathan Moore, know as Coldcut, on the song "Stop This Crazy Thing." They told Coldcut of Stansfield's vocal skills, and in 1989, Blue Zone with Coldcut recorded and released "People Hold On." The song rocketed to No. 11 on the U.K. charts. On the strength of this hit, Arista signed Lisa as a solo artist, with Devaney and Morris as her composers, musicians and producers. Her solo debut, Affection, (1990) went platinum thanks to three No. 1 UK pop and three No. 1 U.S. R&B hits, including the smash hit "All Around the World." Real Love, her 1991 follow-up and 1993's So Natural also were well-received critically and commercially.