Nicole Scherzinger

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Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger 2012.jpg
Scherzinger attending will.i.am's album wrap party in Hollywood, August 2012.
BornNicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente
(1978-06-29) June 29, 1978 (age 35)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
Years active1999–present
Home townLouisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Net worthUS$10 million[1]
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Partner(s)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Piano
  • vocals
Labels
Associated acts
Website
 
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Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger 2012.jpg
Scherzinger attending will.i.am's album wrap party in Hollywood, August 2012.
BornNicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente
(1978-06-29) June 29, 1978 (age 35)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation
Years active1999–present
Home townLouisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Net worthUS$10 million[1]
Height1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)
Partner(s)
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Piano
  • vocals
Labels
Associated acts
Website

Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente Scherzinger[2] (/niˈkl ˈʃɜrzɪŋər/ ni-KOHL SHUR-zing-ər; born June 29, 1978) is an American singer-songwriter, television personality, and philanthropist. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, she made an appearance on the television series Popstars as a member in Eden's Crush until 2002. Scherzinger achieved widespread recognition as the lead vocalist of pop group The Pussycat Dolls, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. The group's hiatus yielded the successful solo release of "Baby Love".

Following the disbandment of The Pussycat Dolls in 2010, Scherzinger's personal struggles sent her career into hiatus. Scherzinger's debut solo album, Killer Love (2011), incorporated elements of eurodance and club pop music; its singles "Don't Hold Your Breath" and "Right There" charted within the top-ten in several countries worldwide. In addition to her solo work, Scherzinger has collaborated with numerous other artists, including being featured on the worldwide hits "Come to Me" (with Diddy) and "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" (with A.R. Rahman). Since 2007, Scherzinger has served as a judge on The X Factor.

As the primary voice on record for The Pussycat Dolls, both in the studio and onstage, Scherzinger has sold 50 million records worldwide[3] and a further 16 million as a solo artist.[4] Scherzinger's work with the group has earned her numerous awards and accolades. In 2009, Billboard ranked The Pussycat Dolls, as one of the top ten most successful musical acts of the 2000s.[5] In 2011, Rolling Stone recognized her instant success as one of the best dancing musicians, ranking her ninth in the world,[6] while VH1's included her as one of the "100 Greatest Women in Music" in 2012,[7] and was ranked eighth "Sexiest Artist of All Time" in 2013.[8] Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Scherzinger is involved in charitable activities through human rights, world issues, and her work as an ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Biography[edit]

1978–2002: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1978

Scherzinger was born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente in Honolulu, Hawaii, into a staunchly Roman Catholic family.[9][10] Her father, Alfonso Valiente,[11] is of Filipino descent,[12] and her mother, Rosemary Elikolani, is of Hawaiian[13] and Russian[14] descent.[15] Her mother was eighteen at the time of Scherzinger's birth and lived in an inner city neighborhood.[16] Scherzinger's parents separated when she was still a baby. When she was six years old, her maternal family moved to Louisville, Kentucky,[17] with her sister, Keala, and her German American stepfather, Gary Scherzinger.[18][19] She took her stepfather's surname after he adopted her.[17] She first attended Bowen Elementary, and later attended Meyzeek Middle School as an adolescent. Scherzinger states that, growing up, her family did not have a lot of money, and she thanks her mother for all the support she gave her to become what she is today. Scherzinger began performing in Louisville, attending the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School, and performing with Actors Theatre of Louisville.[17] As a teenager, Scherzinger was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky State Fair's Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest.[17]

In college, Scherzinger majored in musical theatre at Wright State University, where she had a role in Chicago and in Show Boat.[20] She then put her studies in art on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band, Days of the New.[21] Band leader Travis Meeks claims that after touring for the album, the two grew apart creatively and that despite being an "amazing entertainer," she "didn’t seem to understand music very well."[22] In 2001, Scherzinger went on to audition on The WB's television show, Popstars in which she auditioned with Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You".[23] Scherzinger later won the show as part of Eden's Crush, in which she was one of the lead vocalists for the group.[23] The group released the single "Get Over Yourself", which charted within the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.[23] They later went on to tour with 'N Sync and Jessica Simpson.[23] In late 2001, the band's record company, London-Sire Records, went bankrupt, and the group split.[24] Scherzinger subsequently made a few promotional solo appearances under the stage name of Nicole Kea, including covering "Breakfast in Bed" for the soundtrack to 50 First Dates in 2003.[25] Scherzinger also worked with Yoshiki of Japanese rock band X Japan on his Violet UK project.[26] She sang the English version of "I'll Be Your Love" live with the Tokyo Symphonic Orchestra.

2003–07: Engagement, PCD and canceled album[edit]

The Pussycat Dolls performing at the KISS 106.1 Jingle Bell Bash in 2005.

Scherzinger met Nick Hexum of rock band 311 backstage at a Days of the New concert.[27] They became engaged for three years, but broke it off in 2004.[27] During this time, will.i.am approached Scherzinger to become a member of The Black Eyed Peas, but Hexum forced her to decline as he controlled her entire career to try to make her a solo artist.[28]

In November 2002, Scherzinger had seen The Pussycat Dolls, a burlesque troupe, performing on the Late Show with David Letterman, where Carmen Electra sang "Big Spender" from the Bob Fosse musical Sweet Charity.[20] Scherzinger later auditioned for the group when they were re-cast as recording artists.[29] Robin Antin and Ron Fair had been impressed with Scherzinger's audition and offered her the position as lead vocalist for the group and gave her a solo deal.[30] In September 2005, the band released PCD, an album combined with several dance-pop songs interlacing their burlesque style,[31] while the second half of the album contain tributes and covers.[32] PCD was certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),[33] sold 3 million copes in the United States[34] and sold 10 million copies worldwide.[35][36] The group became one of the top-selling artists in 2006, while the album appeared at number twelve on the Billboard 200 year-end chart that year.[37]

Scherzinger initially generated much controversy over the provocative and sexual image of the band, notably upon the release of their debut single.[38] Despite the negative criticism, "Don't Cha" was a global commercial success, reaching number one in multiple countries[39] and number two on the Billboard Hot 100.[40] It is known with great legacy[36] and has sold more than 7 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.[41][42] Following the success of their debut, "Stickwitu" became a second number one single for the group and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group at the 2007 awards ceremony.[43] The next two singles, "Beep" and "Buttons" would go on to reach the top of the charts worldwide.[44][45] Two final singles would be released from the album, "I Don't Need a Man" and "Wait a Minute" and both reached moderate success.[46] The group was selected to perform for the introduction for ABC's coverage of the NBA.[47] They also toured with The Black Eyed Peas on their Honda Civic Tour[48] and Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics Tour.[49]

Scherzinger performing at the Tacoma Dome in Washington in 2007.

With the success of the group's debut album, it brought Scherzinger into the media spotlight, which resulted in a series of duets and guest vocals with many male vocalists.[50] Scherzinger collaborated with Diddy on "Come to Me" which became Scherzinger's first solo top-ten hit on Billboard Hot 100 and Diddy's best selling single from the album in the US.[51] Scherzinger's first recording during her solo career, "Whatever U Like" featuring T.I. was released as the album's lead single.[52] Following the poor commercial success of the song,[53] "Baby Love" was released as the second single on September 18, 2007.[54] It peaked in the top twenty in thirteen countries, including Germany, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom.[55]

After the release of "Baby Love", Scherzinger had planned to release her debut solo album on October 19, 2007.[56] However, as a result of a majority of the singles charting poorly in the US,[57] Scherzinger decided not to release any further singles from the album and at Scherzinger's request, Her Name Is Nicole was shelved.[58] Confirmed by label executives, this was put on hold so she could concentrate on recording with The Pussycat Dolls on their next studio album.[59] Two promotional singles were released from the album — "Supervillain" and "Puakenikeni" respectively and also both failed to chart.[60]

2008–09: Doll Domination, over-emphasis controversies and The Sing-Off[edit]

Scherzinger performing "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" during the World Domination Tour in 2009.

In April 2008, Scherzinger recorded a cover version of "Rio" by Duran Duran for an advertising campaign for Unilever's Caress brand of body wash.[61] In 2008, in support of Barack Obama, she was one of many musicians to contribute to a track by will.i.am called "Yes We Can".[62] Also on September 5, 2008, Scherzinger joined an all-star cast to perform the charity song "Just Stand Up" on live TV.[63]

Doll Domination was released on September 23, 2008 in the United States.[64] During the recording process, Scherzinger was give a larger input in the studio as executive producer for the album.[65] It sold 80,000 copies in its first week and debuted at number four on the Billboard 200.[64] The lead single from the album, "When I Grow Up" peaked at number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and peaked in the top ten elsewhere.[66] The album's second single, "I Hate This Part" reached the top ten in multiple countries and peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100.[67] The songs have sold over two million digital copies in the United States, making the Pussycat Dolls the first female group in digital history to have four singles pass the two million mark in digital sales.[68] The music video for "When I Grow Up" has been complimented on its break down and became popular around the world.[69] At the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated for seven awards, the most of the evening, ultimately winning Best Dancing in a Video.[70] Two more singles were also released — "Whatcha Think About That" and "Bottle Pop" and performed poorly on the charts.

The Pussycat Dolls performing "Stickwitu" in 2008; a single that garnered critical and commercial success, along with a Grammy Award nomination.

After watching Slumdog Millionaire, record executives Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair wanted to turn "Jai Ho" into a "pop record without deviating from the original melody" and use it as a platform for Scherzinger's solo career.[71] After contacting A. R. Rahman, they asked Scherzinger, to re-write and make her own version of the song with a different key signature.[71] In the United States, "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" has been placed in fifth place as the biggest moves in the lifetime of the Hot 100, moving up eighty-five places.[72][73] In January 2009, the band embarked on their World Domination Tour across the globe.[74] Then the band joined Britney Spears' on The Circus Starring Britney Spears as an opening act for the first leg in North America in April 2009.[75] Doll Domination sold 6 million copies worldwide.[35] Following Scherzinger's over-emphasis in the recent release of singles, there were several emotional outbursts to the media including one by Melody Thornton during one of the group's appearances on tour.[76] This created mass media attention as rumors spread that Scherzinger was leaving the group to promote herself as a solo artist.[77]

In December 2009, Scherzinger served as a celebrity judge on NBC's reality singing competition, The Sing-Off,[78] along with singer-songwriter Ben Folds and Boyz II Men bandmember Shawn Stockman.[78] The show was hosted by singer Nick Lachey.[78] Scherzinger's role was to critique performances of the competitors and vote on eliminations in all but the final round, which was determined by audience vote.[78] In the show finale, Scherzinger performed "You Don't Own Me" with competition finalists the Beelzebubs of Tufts University.[78] She returned to her role as judge for a second season of The Sing-Off in December 2010, but did not return for a third season.[78] On May 24, 2010, a third line-up, which would join Nicole Scherzinger, was revealed consisting of Kherington Payne, Vanessa Curry, Rino Nakasone Razalan and Jamie Lee Ruiz.[79][80] However, Scherzinger would eventually leave the group in August 2010.[81]

2010–12: Dancing with the Stars, Killer Love and The X Factor[edit]

Scherzinger at The X Factor auditions in Los Angeles in 2011

In January 2010, Scherzinger began the recording and writing process for her solo album again, reuniting with Ne-Yo on "personal and heartfelt" tracks.[82] She attempted to launch her debut album for a second time on May 2010, with a brand new "rock, funk, soul edge" sound, and a brand new single "Nobody Can Change Me".[83] On February 1, 2010, along with other artists, Scherzinger had re-recorded "We Are the World", a charity single for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[84][85] In March 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger would be a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars for the tenth season and would be partnered with Season 7 champion Derek Hough.[86] On May 25, 2010, Scherzinger won season 10 of Dancing with the Stars alongside Hough.[87] In June 2010, Scherzinger guest judged on seventh series of UK version of The X Factor auditions and has since been credited in the formation of One Direction.[88]

On March 18, Scherzinger released her debut solo studio album, Killer Love.[89] The album was a commercial success in the United Kingdom, peaking at number eight, but failed to chart any higher on any other foreign chart. It was also the twentieth best selling album by a female artist in 2011.[90] The album's lead single "Poison" debuted at number three in the United Kingdom, becoming Scherzinger's first solo top five single on the chart.[91] The second single "Don't Hold Your Breath" reached number one on the UK charts[92] and top twenty in other countries, became the 32nd best-selling song of the year and her 15th top ten single overall.[93] For its release in the United States,[94] "Right There" was remixed to serve as the first US and third overall single from her debut album, Killer Love.[95] The song became an international worldwide hit, charting in top-ten in numerous countries.[96] Scherzinger thus became one of the most successful artists that year in the United Kingdom.[97]

Scherzinger performing "Don't Hold Your Breath" at the EE launch party in 2012.

In June 2011, Scherzinger was announced as one of the judges for the first season of Simon Cowell's U.S. version of The X Factor.[98] Though she was originally named as one of the hosts of the program,[99] a shakeup involving the firing of Cheryl Cole saw Scherzinger added to the judges' table in her place.[100] She later mentored the "Over 30s" category and was runner-up with Josh Krajcik.[101] Scherzinger created immense controversy on the show when her vote was put to deadlock and the public vote sent home contestant Rachel Crow on December 8, 2011.[102] Scherzinger also faced backlash from the fans of the show,[103] which included boos from the audience and later, death threats.[104] Scherzinger left the show after just one season as a judge.[105][106] A further two more singles were released from Killer Love — "Wet" and "Try with Me". Amongst shooting the music video for "Try with Me", Scherzinger, her team and choreographer Brian Friedman, were held at gunpoint by a local gang when they were travelling through the mountains to the Xilitla rainforest to shoot the video.[107]

By popular demand, Scherzinger began her first solo tour in February 2012, The Killer Love Tour.[108] Scherzinger portrayed Lily Poison in the film, Men in Black 3, which was released in May 2012.[109] On June 15, 2012, Scherzinger signed a £750,000 contract to join the ninth series of The X Factor UK as a replacement judge for the departing Kelly Rowland.[110][111] During her first season overseas, Scherzinger mentored the "Boys" category.[112] Scherzinger was announced the winning mentor on December 9, 2012.[113] All three acts in Scherzinger's category made it to the final five, the third time this has happened in the history of The X Factor.[114] Two of her acts, James Arthur and Jahméme Douglas went on to become winner and runner-up respectively.[114] On October 9, 2012, VH1 premiered a Behind the Music documentary about Scherzinger's life and career.[115] In late 2012, Scherzinger featured on the latest studio album of Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti.[116]

2013: Second album and return to The X Factor[edit]

On February 23, 2013, Scherzinger was honored by the Harvard Foundation as "2013 Artist of the Year" for her contributions in performing arts, support for breast cancer research and initiatives for adults and children with special needs.[117] On March 31, 2013, Scherzinger performed "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" on ITV for Andrew Lloyd Webber's 40th special anniversary.[118] Scherzinger's second studio album was rumoured to be released November 2013, but it is now delayed to early 2014.[119] The lead single, "Boomerang", debuted and peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart.[120] Aside from enlisting will.i.am to executively produce her second album, Scherzinger also recorded vocals on the song "Far Away from Home" for his fourth studio album, #willpower.[121] On May 23, 2013, Scherzinger was confirmed as a returning judge for the tenth series of The X Factor UK with a pay raise of £1.5 million.[122] She later made headlines singing the national anthem at the L.A. Dodgers baseball game on July 31, 2013.[123]

In December 2013, she announced that her upcoming second studio album will be released in early 2014[124] and she also hinted that she could not return at the eleventh season of The X Factor UK because she will focus on her music in 2014 but she will still working in the UK.[125]

Artistry[edit]

Musical style and voice[edit]

Despite what other people might write, it was my decision, ultimately. I actually put some of my solo songs on the Pussycat Dolls' new album Doll Domination. Everything is all about timing. I believe it will come out next year, and it will be able to coexist wonderfully with the Dolls' album. It's completely separate from what you've heard with "Baby Love" and "Whatever U Like," and I'm still working on it — that's what happens when you're a perfectionist.

—Nicole Scherzinger speaking about her debut album[126]
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A sample of "Poison"'s pulsating chorus, where accompanied by a toxic beat, Scherzinger sings about "bad-girl power" and "poisonous intentions".[127]

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About.com said: "Jai Ho!" abundantly deserves its place, and the vocals of head Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger will have pop fans singing as well as dancing along. Look for this song to set up a long residency scaling pop charts around the world."[128]

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Scherzinger is classified as a lyric coloratura soprano with a three octave vocal range and a whistle register that stretches up to a G#6. Scherzinger is known for her strong soprano vocals and conviction to convey emotion in her tracks.[129] Scherzinger's music is generally contemporary R&B,[130] however her music has a feature of soul, pop and dance-pop in some of her songs.[131] As Scherzinger exclusively releases English language songs, she recorded Hindi lyrics in the Pussycat Dolls' version of "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)".[71] Both Ron Fair and Jimmy Iovine asked Scherzinger to turn the song into a pop song.[71] Throughout Scherzinger's career, her vocal range and music has been compared to Kelly Clarkson,[132] Leona Lewis,[133][134] Britney Spears,[133] Sugababes,[134] Rihanna,[133] and Beyoncé Knowles.[133] Scherzinger is also a classically trained opera musician.[135][136]

After she won reality television singing competition, Popstars with Eden's Crush, she later joined pop group Pussycat Dolls[137] and while in the group, Scherzinger was exposed to burlesque themes.[138][139] The band were known for giving jazz performances in their first debut album with records of "Sway" and "Feelin' Good".[140] During her time in the group, Scherzinger has received co-writing credits for a lot of the songs which were recorded with her vocals.[141] She has co-written many hit singles including — "Stickwitu,[142] "Buttons",[140] "I Don't Need a Man",[142] "Bottle Pop",[143] "Hush Hush"[143] and "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)".[143] Since leaving the Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger has been artistically been involved in her music career.[71]

Scherzinger's songs are written from personal experiences, as she said thay are "personal and heartfelt" tracks.[144] She co-wrote the majority of her first studio album, Killer Love.[145] Scherzinger's songs have been described as "sexual innuendo"[146] and "funky electronica"[147] which are also backed by "electro beats".[148] In August 2010, RedOne revealed that he was working on Scherzinger's debut album, stating: "I just finished her album. Her last one never came out because it wasn't consistent. Her new record – it's the real her."[149] Scherzinger said a lot of her first studio album was about her split with Lewis Hamilton before they reunited.[150] Scherzinger said that she wanted to create songs which "lend themselves to live performances".[151] She said she likes to record "empowering" ballads.[152] Scherzinger's vocals on ballads have been compared to Kelly Clarkson.[132] She said that she wanted her debut album to be "in your face and strong".[153] She told MTV "I've always said that in the Pussycat Dolls, I kind of feel like Superwoman. But that's just one of my alter egos. I've got the vulnerable, lovesick side of me amongst others which all appear on my record."[154]

Influences[edit]

Scherzinger credits Whitney Houston as her greatest musical influence and idol, as she said she wanted to "be Whitney" when she was growing up.[155] She admired Houston so much that she auditioned with her version of "I Will Always Love You" at her Popstars audition.[155] When Scherzinger was growing up in her home town of Louisville, she received a Christmas gift at the age of six. It was a tiny purple boombox and a cassette of Whitney Houston's chart-topping 1985 self-titled debut album. "My parents had no money, but they got me this player and Whitney’s album, which had "The Greatest Love of All" on it," Scherzinger recalls. "That was it for me. From that moment on I wanted to sing. Her voice was so powerful; every note she sang just felt like the truth."[156] Scherzinger also named Ella Fitzgerald,[155] Billie Holiday,[155] Roberta Flack,[155] Sade Adu,[155] Alanis Morissette,[155] Toni Braxton[155] and Tina Turner[155] as her biggest influences to Scherzinger while growing up.[155] Scherzinger said that Beyoncé Knowles also inspired her, stating: "I am inspired by women like Beyoncé who wear costumes that aren't much but they are real artists and they put real artistry into what they do and that is how I pride myself."[157] Scherzinger said while she is on stage performing, she borrows personas of Tina Turner and Mick Jagger: "The way he [Mick Jagger] prances around stage and the poise he has on stage. But I love Tina Turner’s attitude and sass. I steal from her all the time, especially being the lead singer of this group, the Pussycat Dolls, to be fearless and just have that attitude and that soul behind you.[155] Scherzinger also cites Gwen Stefani as an influence.[154] Janet Jackson and M.I.A are also influences to her.[154] When Scherzinger was older, Mariah Carey became a huge influence to her.[156] She also wished to work with The Black Eyed Peas saying she admired their music.[158] Scherzinger is also a fan of Adele.[159] Critically acclaimed, "Pop Prince", Prince also became a big influence when she was in her teens.[160] Michael Jackson was one of Scherzinger's biggest influences and idols.[160] Paula Abdul, who Scherzinger sat alongside on the judging panel of The X Factor was one of her influences.[161] When she gained the role on Men in Black 3, Scherzinger said that music was a very big part of her inspiration for the character, which she plays for the film.[162] She said, "I listened to my heavier music and I listened to Led Zeppelin and I kind of got in that frame of mind because music is what inspires me most. I worked with my acting coach a lot and she told me about lots of crazy things to think about while I was in character, but I better not tell you what she said."[162] Scherzinger said that the role has inspired her to record differently on her second studio album.[162]

Public image[edit]

Scherzinger performing on stage during The Circus Tour in May 2009

Scherzinger is most recognized as the voice behind The Pussycat Dolls.[20][163] She aspires to be recognized as a solo artist.[60] She became the primary voice on record for the group and the leader of the group both in the studio and onstage.[164] As a former member of the group, Scherzinger is the most successful as a solo artist,[165][166] having sold 16 million records, thus far.[4] Negative press appeared in which her music,[133] music videos, performances[167] and her image were unfavorably compared to those of Beyoncé.[168] In 2006, while on tour, Scherzinger ran into trouble in Kuala Lumpur with the authorities for sexually explicit dancing.[169] Her performance, part of the PCD World Tour, was not well received in the Muslim state which frowned upon the "eye-popping attire" and "sexually suggestive stage routines" ans she was fined $3000 for the incident.[169] Scherzinger later admitted that she cried when she saw the first outfit she would have to wear as a member of the band.[170]

Scherzinger is an avid supporter of gay rights, and is often vocal about her beliefs on the opinion.[171] On November 24, 2012, Scherzinger posed for a "Some People Are Gay, Get Over It" T-shirt, part of a campaign from Stonewall, in support of same-sex marriage.[172] Scherzinger's popularity within the gay community increased due to her work the Pussycat Dolls.[173] One of the songs written by Scherzinger, "I Don't Need a Man", was dedicated to all of her gay fans.[173] She explained: "Whoever I could inspire, I wanted to inspire them. It’s about the messages of empowerment and loving yourself for who you are."[173] Scherzinger is also very vocal when it comes to bullying.[174] She believes in acceptance and recalls receiving knock backs and the message of her music releases show how she dealt with them.[175]

She admits it is very "frustrating" to read about the media's portrayal of her as "a man-eater".[176] Scherzinger ended her relationship with Lewis Hamilton in October 2011, before the pair got back together and she had been linked to a number of different men, but insists none of the rumors are true.[176][176] In July 2013, Scherzinger posed semi-nude for a "Protect the Skin You're In" T-shirt, part of a campaign by fashion designer Marc Jacobs to raise awareness and cash for melanoma research.[177] All of the sales will benefit the NYU Cancer Institute and NYU Langone Medical Center.[178]

Scherzinger's style in fashion has been influenced by rock n' roll as she prefers wearing a "grown up" style of clothing, which could be seen on her very first solo tour.[179][180][181] The outfits she wore as a Pussycat Doll and sexual dance moves they performed has continued ever since she embarked on her solo career.[182] Scherzinger politely addressed the issue: "I think I am able to handle myself in a good manner and hopefully I’m a positive role model for other girls out there. I think my style is a little edgier now."[183] Scherzinger claims she would be much more successful as a solo artist if she were "more slutty".[184] She also enjoys experimenting with new looks to suit her mood.[185][186] Scherzinger also wore the very first Twitter dress at the EE launch party.[187] In 2012, Scherzinger was ranked number one on Complex's "Hottest Singing Competition Winners Worldwide".[188] She was also ranked eighth "Sexiest Artist of All Time" by VH1 in 2013.[8] Scherzinger was ranked third on "Hottest Women in Music" by FHM in 2013.[189]

Overemphasis of Scherzinger in Pussycat Dolls[edit]

Margeaux Watson of Entertainment Weekly took a major swipe at the group for their overemphasis of Scherzinger as the lead singer. Watson said, "there are two kinds of girl groups: those anchored by a superstar (The Supremes, Destiny's Child), and those made up of charismatic personalities endowed with limited individual gifts (Spice Girls, TLC). The Pussycat Dolls are neither — they're a brand, not a band. This follow-up to 2005's multiplatinum PCD finds lead Doll Nicole Scherzinger in the spotlight, and she's no Beyoncé. As for the others, well...can you name them? Do you even know how many there are?"[190]

On October 5, 2012, Nicole Scherzinger claimed in a VH1's Behind the Music special that she was responsible for both lead and backing vocals on the group's songs, with hardly anything sung by her fellow members. Scherzinger, who said that she didn't want to get in trouble for her revelations, explained that the other Pussycat Dolls members often hadn't even heard their tracks until they were recorded. "I never really talked about it, but I'll never forget I finished the album PCD and Ron Fair and I brought the girls into the studio and we played it for them, and it was the first time they'd ever heard the music," she said. "Do you understand what I'm saying? We played the album for the Pussycat Dolls. It was the first time they'd ever heard the songs."[191][192]

On October 7, 2012, former member, Kaya Jones, claimed that Scherzinger became the lead singer for the group because "there was a lot more going on behind the scenes". Jones told TMZ: "Nicole was always someone who wanted to be in the spotlight and would do pretty much anything to get it." "To call the other girls in the Pussycat Dolls 'window dressings' is a bit farfetched... every girl in the group was talented," she added.[193]

Legacy[edit]

Scherzinger performing on the World Domination Tour in 2009

Described as the "driving force" behind pop group The Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger is credited for the rejuvenation of girl group success in the United States.[34] With only two studio albums, the band became the best selling girl group of the past decade,[36] digital era,[67] and fourth of all time overall.[194] Since beginning her career with the group in 2003, Scherzinger has sold 50 million records worldwide,[3] and a further 16 million as a solo artist.[4] Scherzinger has been given several pop culture titles, including, "Princess of Pop"[195] and the "Hawaiian Pop Goddess"[196] becoming an international pop culture icon following her debut.[197]

Their debut single, "Don't Cha", was included in VH1's "Greatest Songs of '00s".[198] Worldwide, it has sold more than 7 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.[41] One of Scherzinger's biggest hits, "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" created a milestone for Billboard Hot 100 with a biggest single-week upward movement in the lifetime of the chart, ranked fifth.[199] Following this achievement that same year, The Official Charts Company listed "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" along with "Don't Cha" at number thirty-nine and five, as of the most downloaded song since its launch, respectively.[200] "Jai Ho! (You are My Destiny)" made Scherzinger one of only five other artists to reach number one in digital downloads in Australia,[201] as well as making it one of the best selling songs there and in the United Kingdom[202] with "Don't Cha", as of July 2009.[203]

In 2011, Rolling Stone recognized her instant success as one of the best dancing musicians, ranking her ninth in the world,[6] while VH1 included her as one of the "100 Greatest Women in Music" in 2012,[7] and was ranked eighth "Sexiest Artist of All Time" in 2013.[8] In 2009, Billboard also ranked Scherzinger as one of the most successful musical act of the 2000s.[5] In February 2013, Scherzinger was honored by the Harvard Foundation as "2013 Artist of the Year" for her contributions in performing arts, support for breast cancer research and initiatives for adults and children with special needs.[117] In April 2013, she was awarded with the "Outstanding Achievement in Music Award" at The Asian Awards for "inspiring achievements in the fields of business, sport, entertainment, philanthropy and popular arts and culture".[204][205]

Scherzinger's television and music video impact has also been acknowledged in pop culture; VH1 and Billboard both ranked Scherzinger eighth "Sexiest Artist of All Time" and "Pop's Sexiest Stars" in 2013 and 2010.[8][206] In 2013, Fuse included Scherzinger on the list of "50 Girls Who Run The World"[207] and the "Top 100 Pop Breakthroughs".[208] In 2012, Fuse ranked the music video for "Buttons" on the list of "Top 100 Sexiest Music Videos of All Time"[209] and "Stickwitu"[210] and the former on the list of the "Top 100 Number Ones".[211] In 2007, MuchMusic ranked "Buttons" at number four in the list of the "50 Sexiest Music Videos of All-Time".[212] In 2010, Simon Cowell praised Scherzinger's performance ability, respectively calling her "one of the best live performers I've ever seen" and "if you want an example of how you do it right... its Nicole. It's focus, performance, vocals...".[213] Also in 2010, Scherzinger won the season ten championship of Dancing with the Stars with Derek Hough, her partner.[87]

She also made The X Factor history as the first judge to have worked on the US and UK shows.[100][111] In season nine of the show, all three acts in Scherzinger's category made it to the final five, the first time this has happened in the history of The X Factor.[114] She also had both lasting contestants in the final show.[114] Scherzinger has also been praised by several musicians and celebrities such as Travis Payne,[214] Ne-Yo,[215] Paula Walker,[216] Marcus Collins,[217][218] Amelia Lily[219] Jahmene Douglas,[220] James Arthur,[221][222] Union J,[223] Simon Cowell,[213] Louis Walsh,[213] Andrew Loyd Webber,[224] Niall Horan,[225] Il Divo,[226] and others. Scherzinger is well known for her music videos, which often incorporate themes and dance breaks.[227] Critics generally favor Scherzinger's intricate choreography.[228] She is considered a sex symbol through her music videos and image.[229][230]

Other ventures[edit]

Products and endorsements[edit]

Scherzinger had re-recorded "Don't Cha" in Simlish for inclusion in the computer game The Sims 2: Pets.[231] She has also recorded a version of "GoldenEye" — the theme song of the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye — for the 2010 video game GoldenEye 007. She also appeared in character form in the computer game Asphalt: Urban GT 2 in November 2006. Scherzinger's solo and Pussycat Dolls songs have been featured in an array of dance and singing games including — Just Dance 2 , Zumba Fitness 2, Get Up and Dance, Everybody Dance, Just Dance: Greatest Hits and SingStar.[citation needed] In 2010, she made a commercial for the C&A campaign.[232] In December 2011, Scherzinger began endorsing the imPress Nails manicure line and has her own signature series.[233][234] Later in 2012, Scherzinger became the ambassador for Herbal Essences.[235] In March 2013, Scherzinger was announced as an ambassador for British Airways promoting first class routes to Moscow.[236] In April 2013, it was announced that Scherzinger will be the face of Müller Corner, a range of luxury yogurts and front TV and print campaigns.[237]

In 2014, Scherzinger is expected to release her very own clothing line in London.[238]

Acting and musical theatre[edit]

Scherzinger has made minor appearances as an actress. She appeared in the TV comedy, Half & Half, My Wife and Kids and the 2003 film, Love Don't Cost a Thing. She also had a role in 2001 as one of the "Pop Stars" in the episode, "Finally!", of the show Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and also made appearances in Wanda at Large, Chasing Papi, Be Cool and Cane. Scherzinger was intended to be cast in one of the lead roles in the upcoming movie with the Filipino Boxing Champion, Manny Pacquiao, together with professional wrestler, Dave Batista. She was about to play the leading lady of the Filipino Champ, but her audition was cancelled and the role went to the Filipina actress, Ruffa Mae Quinto. She also made an appearance in the Nickelodeon show, Big Time Rush, as herself. In 2010 Scherzinger appeared in the How I Met Your Mother episode "Glitter", as Robin Scherbatsky's former best friend, Jessica Glitter. Scherzinger portrayed Lily Poison in the film Men in Black 3, released May 25, 2012.[109] She appeared on the covers of numerous Cosmopolitan editions (British, Bulgarian, Croatian, Estonian, Italian, Indonesian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mexican, Mongolian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish and others). Scherzinger frequently has appeared in FHM Magazine's 100 Sexiest Women poll, ranking #49 in 2006, #22 in 2007, #49 in 2008, #60 in 2009, and #73 in 2010. In 2011, she jumped 64 places to rank #9.[239]

Scherzinger majored in acting and musical theatre at Wright State University, where she played Velma Kelly in Chicago and Julie La Verne in Show Boat.[20] She put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band, Days of the New.[21] In late 2009, it was reported that Scherzinger was working closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the musical Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.[240] Although she has not yet appeared in the show, her version of the title song – Love Never Dies – was played on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Friday 1 April 2011.[241] June 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger would take on the role of Maureen in the Hollywood Bowl production of the rock musical Rent, directed by Neil Patrick Harris.[242] She played the role from August 6–8, 2010. As part of the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, Scherzinger performed the title song at The Royal Variety Performance – held in The Lowry, Manchester – on Monday 5 December 2011. She performed alongside four former Phantoms (Simon Bowman, Earl Carpenter, John Owen-Jones and Ramin Karimloo). The performance was aired on ITV1 on Wednesday 14 December 2011.[243] Playbill confirmed Scherzinger as a cast member in Two Lost Worlds, a musical billed as "an epic tale of an ancient people saved by one woman." The musical will be presented July 31, 2012 at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.[244] On March 31, 2013, Scherzinger performed "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" for the "Andrew Lloyd Webber 40 Years" special anniversary.[118]

In May 2013, Scherzinger endowed the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School with a $2,000 scholarship named after herself, titled the "Nicole Scherzinger Performing Arts Scholarship".[245]

In December 2013, Scherzinger received universal acclaim following her performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" on The X Factor with Sam Bailey, the tenth series winner.[246]

Philanthropy[edit]

Scherzinger performing a special concert for U.S. troops in 2008

Besides her career in music, Scherzinger has also contributed to various charities. For natural disasters, Scherzinger has helped various relief efforts. She was to appear on the single "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" to benefit a donation to the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake in 2010. On July 7, 2007, Scherzinger, together with other artists, performed at the Live Earth Concerts, which were held to raise awareness of global warming in the United Kingdom.[247] In September 2008, Scherzinger raised money for a charity fundraiser to assist breast cancer research in Australia with all proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.[248] She has also performed for many music events that donated to charities such as performing alongside Lea Michele for a performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Los Angeles.[249]

In February 2012, Scherzinger attended the third annual Women in Music event which benefited the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America’s public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s complete education. Early in the evening a check for $30,000 was presented to VH1 Save The Music on behalf.[250][251] Scherzinger has said that she occasionally visits associations for adults with special needs.[252] Scherzinger says she enjoys her charitable endeavors so much, the work has ceased to be selfless and become a mere pursuit of her own pleasure, "I don't know if it's selfish because I get so much fulfillment out of it, but it excites me to be with special-needs kids and families. My aunt has Down's syndrome so it's very close to my heart," says Scherzinger.[252] Inspired by her aunt who suffers from Down syndrome, she hopes to give disabled kids a special place to sing and learn to play instruments.[253]

In March 2013, Scherzinger contributed to Comic Relief, which aims to "bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people, which [we] believe requires investing in work that addresses people's immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice".[254][255] Scherzinger has also contributed to human trafficking charities such as the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking where, in May 2013, she participated in the "From Slavery to Freedom" event to raise money.[256] Most recently, Scherzinger has shown support for the Special Olympics at a tea party for British athletes.[257] Scherzinger was also featured on the 2013 edition "A Very Special Christmas" with all proceeds benefiting the organization.[258] Also, on November 14, 2013, Scherzinger was named the global ambassador of the Special Olympics.[259][260][261] On November 14, 2013, Scherzinger contributed to the Children in Need Rocks Manchester organization.[262] On November 20, 2013, Scherzinger was honored with the "Global Gift Philanthropist Award" at the Global Gift Gala for her contributions.[263]

Personal life[edit]

From 2008 to 2010, Scherzinger was in a relationship with the formula 1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton.[264] In January 2010, it was announced that Hamilton and Scherzinger had split up.[265] The couple reunited until another split in 2011 due to conflicting work schedules. They reportedly reunited again in January 2012, but by July 2013 they had once more ended the relationship.[266][267]

In 2012, Scherzinger publicly revealed her eight-year struggle with bulimia, explaining how during her time in the Pussycat Dolls, "I just hated myself. I was in a group but I never felt so alone in my life ... I never did drugs, but hurting myself was my addiction. The music is what saved me. That's the only thing I can trust."[268][269]

The X Factor controversies[edit]

In week 7 of The X Factor US, Scherzinger and L.A. Reid voted to eliminate contestant Rachel Crow from the show over Marcus Canty; this took the results to deadlock. Immediately after the public results were revealed and Crow was eliminated, she collapsed onstage and cried inconsolably. Steve Jones asked Scherzinger whether she had anything to say, but she was too upset to respond and shook her head and turned away.[102] Scherzinger was booed off the stage and rumors spread that her future on the show was now in jeopardy.[270] She subsequently received death threats from some viewers, to which fellow judge Simon Cowell defended her, saying "If there are death threats and stuff like that, it's crazy. Nicole is not a vindictive person."[271] According to an interview with People Magazine, Scherzinger admitted feeling regrets voting Crow off the show and felt like she let her down. "When I saw that look on her face [I felt] that I let her down, like I dropped her. I could have been holding on and I dropped her," Scherzinger told People.[272] On September 30, 2012, Scherzinger decided to put Rylan Clark through to live shows on The X Factor UK which caused controversy for both.[273] They both received death threats from some viewers on Twitter.[274]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAwardNominated workResult
2007ASCAP Awards Most Performed Songs[276]"Buttons" (The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg)Won
2007BMI Urban Awards Award Winning Songs[277]"Come to Me" (Diddy featuring Nicole Scherzinger)Won
2007Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals"Stickwitu"Nominated
2008BMI Pop Awards Award Winning Songs[278]"Buttons" (The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg)Won
2009MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography"Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)" (A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls)Nominated
2010Pop Justice Readers' Poll Shoddiest Pop Video[279]"Poison"Nominated
2010Pop Justice Readers' Poll Best Comeback[279]HerselfNominated
2010Pop Justice Readers' Poll Worst Attempt at Launching a Solo Career[279]HerselfNominated
2010Virgin Media Music Award Hottest Look[280]HerselfNominated
2011Pop Justice Readers' Poll Worst Attempt at Launching a Solo Career[281]HerselfNominated
2011TRL Awards Best Look[282]HerselfNominated
20114Music Video Honours Best Girl[283][284]HerselfNominated
20114Music Video Honours Best Video"Don't Hold Your Breath"Nominated
20114Music Video Honours Best Video"Right There"Nominated
2012Cosmopolitan Fun, Fearless Female of the Year[285]HerselfWon
2012Pop Justice Readers' Poll Worst Attempt at Launching a Solo Career[286]HerselfNominated
2012Pop Justice Readers' Poll Didn't Have it, Found it in 2012HerselfNominated
2012Teen Choice Award for Scene Stealer FemaleMen in Black 3Nominated
2013Social Television Award Music Award[287]"Boomerang"Won
2013The Asian Awards Outstanding Achievement in Music[288]HerselfWon
2013Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year[117]HerselfWon
2013Glamour Awards TV PersonalityHerselfWon
2013Global Gift Gala Philanthropist Award[289]HerselfWon
2013Cosmopolitan TV Personality[290]HerselfWon

Tours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Donny Osmond & Kym Johnson
Dancing with the Stars (US) winner
Season 10 (Spring 2010 with Derek Hough)
Succeeded by
Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough