Nicole Scherzinger

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Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger 2012.jpg
Scherzinger attending will.i.am's album wrap party in Hollywood in August 2012.
Background information
Birth name Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente
Born (1978-06-29) June 29, 1978 (age 35)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Genres
Occupations
Instruments
Years active 2001–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website

Nicole Scherzinger (/niˈkl ˈʃɜrzɪŋər/ ni-KOHL SHUR-zing-ər, born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente; June 29, 1978) is an American recording artist, actress and television personality. Following her departure from Eden's Crush, she auditioned for the burlesque inspired recording group, The Pussycat Dolls and she subsequently signed a contract with Interscope Records. The group's debut album, PCD (2005) and its follow-up Doll Domination (2008) both set records for girl groups. It was a breakthrough in her career that brought her to widespread prominence. Many of the group's songs became worldwide hits including "Don't Cha", "Stickwitu", "Buttons", When I Grow Up", "I Hate This Part" and "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)". However, despite their commercial success, the group was plagued by internal conflict which led to the downfall and disbandment of the group.

Scherzinger's long-delayed debut solo album, Killer Love (2011), incorporated elements of eurodance and club pop music. Its singles "Don't Hold Your Breath" and "Right There", although not major hits on the American charts, became top-ten hits in several countries worlwide. Scherzinger left Interscope Records in late 2013 and signed a multi-million dollar contract with Sony Music Entertainment and RCA Records. From 2012 to 2013, Scherzinger served as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor and won with James Arthur in her first year.

Scherzinger has sold 60 million records worldwide when combining her tally as a member of the Pussycat Dolls and her solo career.[1] Her work has been recognized by Billboard as a best-selling musical act of the 2000-09 decade,[2] the ninth best dancing musician by Rolling Stone,[3] one of the "100 Greatest Women in Music",[4] and eighth "Sexiest Artist" by VH1,[5] one of the "Top 100 Pop Breakthroughs,[6] and "50 Girls Who Run the World" by Fuse.[7] 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.

Early life[edit]

Scherzinger was born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente in Honolulu, Hawaii, into a staunchly Roman Catholic family.[8][9] Her father, Alfonso Valiente,[10] is of Filipino descent,[11] and her mother, Rosemary Elikolani, is of Hawaiian[12] and Russian[13] descent.[14] Her mother was eighteen at the time of Scherzinger's birth and lived in an inner city neighborhood.[15] Scherzinger's parents separated when she was still a baby. When she was six years old, her maternal family moved to Louisville, Kentucky,[16] with her sister, Keala, and her German American stepfather, Gary Scherzinger.[17][18] She took her stepfather's surname after he adopted her.[16] 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.[16] As a teenager, Scherzinger was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky State Fair's Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest.[16] In college, Scherzinger majored in musical theatre at Wright State University, where she had a role in Chicago and in Show Boat.[19] She then put her studies in art on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band, Days of the New.[20] 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."[20]

Career[edit]

2001–03: Early career beginnings and Eden's Crush[edit]

By the start of the millennium, Scherzinger left Days of the New in hopes to become a solo artist.[20] 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".[21] It aired as part of a reality series until the recording of the group's debut album.[22] Warner Bros. and Sire Records signed the group to a recording contract before the band was named or had finalized its membership, due to the hours of network television exposure the group would receive.[23] Scherzinger won the show as part of the newly established girl group Eden's Crush, in which she was one of the lead vocalists for the group.[21] The group released their first single "Get Over Yourself", which charted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100,[21] and number one in physical sales.[24] It also reached the top of the charts on the Canadian Billboard Hot 100.[24] They later went on to tour with 'N Sync and Jessica Simpson.[21] In 2002, the band's record company, London-Sire Records, went bankrupt, and the group split.[25] With hopes of scoring a solo recording contract, in August 2003 Scherzinger traveled to the Arista Records office in New York with a demo CD of her own written material.[26] Her performance was interrupted by a citywide blackout and she was forced to leave.[26]

Following her short career with Eden's Crush, 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.[27] Scherzinger also worked with Yoshiki of Japanese rock band X Japan on his Violet UK project.[28] She sang the English version of "I'll Be Your Love" live with the Tokyo Symphonic Orchestra. Scherzinger met Nick Hexum of rock band 311 backstage at a Days of the New concert.[29] They became engaged in 2000, but broke it off three years later.[29] 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.[30]

2003–07: The Pussycat Dolls[edit]

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

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.[19] In 2003 Scherzinger auditioned for the group when they were re-cast as recording artists.[31] The group's creator Robin Antin and Interscope Records chairman Ron Fair had been impressed with Scherzinger's audition; offered her the position as lead vocalist for the group and a solo recording contract.[32] In September 2005, the band released PCD, an album combined with several dance-pop songs interlacing their burlesque style,[33] while the second half of the album contain tributes and covers.[34] PCD was certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),[35] and sold 3 million copes in the United States.[36][37] To date, PCD has sold 10 million copies worldwide.[38][39] 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.[40] At the end of 2006, the IFPI reported that PCD was the 12th best-selling album worldwide and third by a female act.[41] By 2007, it had sold 8 million copies globally.[42] PCD has also sold 1,246,769 copies in the United Kingdom making the group the only female band besides The Spice Girls to surpass a million sales,[43] and one of the best selling albums of the 2000–09 decade.[44] The success of the group's debut album led them to became the most successful girl group in the world since The Spice Girls ten years ago.[45]

Scherzinger initially generated much controversy over the provocative and sexual image of the band, notably upon the release of their debut single.[46] Despite the negative criticism, "Don't Cha" was a global commercial success, reaching number one in multiple countries[47] and number two on the Billboard Hot 100.[48] It has sold more than 7 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.[49][50] Following the success of their debut single, "Stickwitu" became a second number one single for the group,[51] and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group at the 2007 awards ceremony.[52] On December 19, 2005 the Pussycat Dolls performed at the 2005 Radio Music Awards a "racy rendition" of "Santa Baby" were Snoop Dogg joined them dressed up as Santa Claus.[53] Following their performance, Interscope Records asked Snoop Dogg to be part of their next single "Buttons" adding two new verses.[54] It became a worldwide hit reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100,[55] and top five elsewhere.[56] "Buttons" reached number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart which was the group's fourth consecutive number one.[57] The group logged their twelfth week at the top,[57] and became the eighth artist in the chart's history with the most number one singles.[57] Two final singles would be released from the album, "I Don't Need a Man" and "Wait a Minute" and both reached moderate success.[58] The group was selected to perform for the introduction for ABC's coverage of the NBA.[59] They also toured with The Black Eyed Peas on their Honda Civic Tour,[60] and Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics Tour in 2006.[61]

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.[62] 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.[63] Scherzinger's first recording during her solo career, "Whatever U Like" featuring T.I. was released as the album's lead single.[64] Following the poor commercial success of the song,[65] "Baby Love" was released as the second single on September 18, 2007.[66] It peaked in the top twenty in thirteen countries, including Germany, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom.[67] After the release of "Baby Love", Scherzinger had planned to release her debut solo album in late 2007.[68] However, as a result of a majority of the singles charting poorly in the US,[69] Scherzinger decided not to release any further singles from the album and at Scherzinger's request, Her Name Is Nicole was shelved.[70] However, confirmed by label executives, this was put on hold so she could concentrate on recording with The Pussycat Dolls on their next studio album.[71] Two promotional singles were released from the album — "Supervillain" and "Puakenikeni" respectively and also both failed to chart.[72]

2008–10: Doll Domination and TV work[edit]

The Pussycat Dolls performed for more than 2,000 U.S. and coalition service members during a live concert March 10, 2008 at a U.S. Army camp in the Persian Gulf Region (2008).

In February, Scherzinger along with a variety of other celebrities contributed to will.i.am's "Yes We Can", to support Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.[73] Following the cancellation of Her Name is Nicole, Scherzinger focused on the Pussycat Dolls' sophomore and final album, Doll Domination.[74] It was released in the United States on September 23, 2008 and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200.[75] The album included singles "When I Grow Up" and "I Hate This Part" which peaked at number nine and eleven on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively.[76] Both songs were originally recorded for Scherzinger's solo effort.[74] The following year, The Pussycat Dolls embarked on a worldwide concert tour, entitled the World Domination Tour which began on January 18, 2009.[77] On April 5, 2009, Scherzinger performed the American national anthem at Wrestlemania XXV, at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.[78]

Following A.R. Rahman's expected win at the 2009 Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score for "Jai Ho" and its soudtrack from Slumdog Millionaire,[79] Scherzinger was asked to re-write and make a pop version of the song while on tour with the group.[80] The song was entitled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" and Scherzinger was credited as a featured artist causing an internal strife within the group.[81] The song reached number one in 17 countries and established Scherzinger as a solo artist.[81] In the United States, it peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, after charging eighty-five places consequentially making the largest weekly leap from number 100.[82] After the tour concluded in August 2009, the group announced a hiatus to further pursue solo careers.[83] In December 2009, Scherzinger was announced as the third judge joining Ben Folds and Boyz II Men band member Shawn Stockman on the first season of, The Sing-Off. The show was hosted by singer Nick Lachey.[84] She returned for the second season before being replaced by Sara Bareilles.[85]

In January 2010, Scherzinger began the recording and writing process for her solo album.[86] Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Scherzinger along with other artists, Scherzinger had recorded "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", which benefited people affected by the tragedy.[87] In March 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger would be a celebrity contestant on the tenth season of Dancing with the Stars partnering with Derek Hough.[88] Scherzinger ultimately won the competition which concluded in May.[89] She later attempted to launch her debut album for a second time, with a brand new "rock, funk, soul edge" sound, and a brand new single "Nobody Can Change Me".[90] In June 2010, Scherzinger was one of the many celebrities chosen to fulfill the role of judge whilst Dannii Minogue was on maternity leave. She appeared as a guest judge alongside Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh during the Manchester auditions on the seventh series of The X Factor UK.[91] She eventually stood in for Cheryl Cole during the bootcamp stages.[92] Meanwhile, following the departure of the four members, Scherzinger announced that she quit The Pussycat Dolls to pursue her solo career.[93]

2011–13: Killer Love and The X Factor[edit]

Scherzinger at The X Factor auditions in Newark, New Jersey in 2011

On March 18, 2011, Scherzinger released her debut studio album, Killer Love. The album experienced moderate success in certain territories; on the UK Albums Chart the album debuted and peaked at number eight and by November it sold 140,000 copies.[94] The album included, second single, "Don't Hold Your Breath" which debuted atop the UK Singles Chart and top-three songs, "Poison" and "Right There".[95] The latter one was remixed featuring 50 Cent and released as the lead single for the US version of Killer Love.[96] It peaked at number thirty-nine, remaining the highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100.[97] In May 2011, Scherzinger was hired to co-host along with Steve Jones the first season of the American version of The X Factor.[98] However, she later replaced Cheryl Cole as a judge joining Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul.[99] She mentored the Over 30s; her final act, Josh Krajcik, was named the runner-up of the season.[100] Scherzinger did not return for the show's second season and was replaced by Britney Spears.[101] Meanwhile, Killer Love was re-released with four additional songs, including the fifth and final single, "Try with Me".[102]

In February 2012, Scherzinger emabarked on The Killer Love Tour, her first solo tour, visiting 6 venues.[103] In May 2012, Scherzinger continued her acting career portraying Lily Poison, the main antagonist girlfriend in the comedy film, Men in Black 3.[104] The film spent its first weekend atop the US box office and grossed $624 million worldwide.[105] In June 2012, it was announced that Scherzinger replaced Kelly Rowland as a judge for the ninth series of The X Factor UK joining Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and Tulisa Contostavlos with a reported salary of £750,000 ($1.17 million).[106] Scherzinger mentored the Boys category; both of her acts, James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas reached the final with Arthur winning the series.[107] At the same time, on an episode of Behind the Music Scherzinger revealed that she endured an eight-year-long battle with bulimia.[108]

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.[109] In March 2013, Scherzinger released "Boomerang" which debuted and peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart.[110] Aside from will.i.am producing "Boomerang", Scherzinger appeared on "Far Away from Home" for his fourth studio album, #willpower and provided additional vocals on the song "Smile Mona Lisa".[111] 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 alongside Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and original judge Sharon Osbourne, who replaced Tulisa Contostavlos.[112]

2014: Upcoming second studio album[edit]

In January 2014, it was reported that Scherzinger landed a $4.5 million recording deal with Sony Records.[113] It was later confirmed that she left Interscope Records for Sony's imprint label, RCA Records.[114] The as-of-yet untitled album will be executive produced by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Terius "The-Dream" Nash. It will be preceded by the release of a new single in Summer 2014.[114] Also at the beginning of 2014 Scherzinger appeared on "And I Am Telling You", a duet with Sam Bailey, for her debut album The Power of Love.[115] Meanwhile, Simon Cowell confirmed that Scherzinger would not return as a judge on The X Factor.[116]

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[117]
A sample of "Poison"'s pulsating chorus, where accompanied by a toxic beat, Scherzinger sings about "bad-girl power" and "poisonous intentions".[118]

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."[119]

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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.[120] Scherzinger's music is generally contemporary R&B,[121] however her music has a feature of soul, pop and dance-pop in some of her songs.[120] As Scherzinger exclusively releases English language songs, she recorded Hindi lyrics in the Pussycat Dolls' version of "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)".[80] Both Ron Fair and Jimmy Iovine asked Scherzinger to turn the song into a pop song.[80] Throughout Scherzinger's career, her vocal range and music has been compared to those of Kelly Clarkson,[122] Leona Lewis,[123][124] Britney Spears,[123] Sugababes,[124] Rihanna,[123] and Beyoncé.[123] Scherzinger is also a classically trained opera musician.[125][126]

She has received co-writing credits for multiple songs she's recorded for The Pussycat Dolls and her own solo efforts.[127] Her early songs were female-empowerment themed compositions like "I Don't Need a Man" and "Hush Hush", but after the on-off relationship with Lewis Hamilton she transitioned to more "break-up" anthems such as "Don't Hold Your Breath".[128] Scherzinger has also received co-writing credits for some of the records in which she has been involved, especially during her solo efforts. She has also been involved in the vocal arrangement and vocal production of a few songs she's written.[129]

Scherzinger's songs are written from personal experiences, as she said thay are "personal and heartfelt" tracks.[130] She co-wrote the majority of her first studio album, Killer Love.[128] Scherzinger's songs have been described as "sexual innuendo"[131] and "funky electronica"[132] which are also backed by "electro beats".[133] 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."[134] Scherzinger said a lot of her first studio album was about her split with Lewis Hamilton before they reunited.[135] Scherzinger said that she wanted to create songs which "lend themselves to live performances".[136] She said she likes to record "empowering" ballads.[137] Scherzinger's vocals on ballads have been compared to Kelly Clarkson.[122] She said that she wanted her debut album to be "in your face and strong".[138] 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."[139]

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.[140] She admired Houston so much that she auditioned with her version of "I Will Always Love You" at her Popstars audition.[140] 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."[141] Scherzinger also named Ella Fitzgerald,[140] Billie Holiday,[140] Roberta Flack,[140] Sade Adu,[140] Alanis Morissette,[140] Toni Braxton[140] and Tina Turner[140] as her biggest influences to Scherzinger while growing up.[140] Scherzinger said that Beyoncé 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."[142] 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.[140] Scherzinger also cites Gwen Stefani as an influence.[139] Janet Jackson and M.I.A are also influences to her.[139] When Scherzinger was older, Mariah Carey became a huge influence to her.[141] She also wished to work with The Black Eyed Peas saying she admired their music.[143] Scherzinger is also a fan of Adele.[144] Critically acclaimed, "Pop Prince", Prince also became a big influence when she was in her teens.[145] Michael Jackson was one of Scherzinger's biggest influences and idols.[145] Paula Abdul, who Scherzinger sat alongside on the judging panel of The X Factor, was one of her influences.[146] 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.[147] 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."[147] Scherzinger said that the role has inspired her to record differently on her second studio album.[147]

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.[19][148] She aspires to be recognized as a solo artist.[72] She became the primary voice on record for the group and the leader of the group both in the studio and onstage.[149] As a former member of the group, Scherzinger is the most successful as a solo artist,[150][151] having sold 16 million records, thus far.[152] Negative press appeared in which her music,[123] music videos, performances[153] and her image were unfavorably compared to those of Beyoncé.[154] In 2006, while on tour, Scherzinger ran into trouble in Kuala Lumpur with the authorities for sexually explicit dancing.[155] 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.[155] Scherzinger later admitted that she cried when she saw the first outfit she would have to wear as a member of the band.[156]

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?"[154] On October 5, 2012, VH1 aired a Behind the Music special where Scherzinger claimed that she was responsible for both lead and backing vocals on the group's songs, with hardly anything sung by the other members.[157] 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. She commented, "...people don't even know the story. I was in the center because I was singing. I was the one singing."[158] On October 7, 2012, Kaya Jones, who left the group before the release of the group's debut album, claimed that Scherzinger became the lead singer for the group because "there was a lot more going on behind the scenes". Jones told TMZ that "Nicole was always someone who wanted to be in the spotlight and would do pretty much anything to get it," she added.[159] Jessica Sutta has also been vocal towards her feelings as a "glorified backup dancer" in the group. She slammed Scherzinger saying, "Nicole is a star, and she wanted to be treated like one. The Pussycat Dolls were Nicole's world, and everything that Nicole says goes."[160]

Scherzinger is also a supporter of gay rights, and is often vocal about her beliefs on the opinion.[161] 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.[162] Scherzinger's popularity within the gay community increased due to her work the Pussycat Dolls.[163] One of the songs written by Scherzinger, "I Don't Need a Man", was dedicated to all of her gay fans.[163] 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."[163] Scherzinger is also very vocal when it comes to bullying.[164] She believes in acceptance and recalls receiving knock backs and the message of her music releases show how she dealt with them.[165] She admits it is very "frustrating" to read about the media's portrayal of her as "a man-eater".[166] 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.[166][166] 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.[167] All of the sales will benefit the NYU Cancer Institute and NYU Langone Medical Center.[168] 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.[169][170][171] The outfits she wore as a Pussycat Doll and sexual dance moves they performed has continued ever since she embarked on her solo career.[172] 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."[173] Scherzinger claims she would be much more successful as a solo artist if she were "more slutty".[174] She also enjoys experimenting with new looks to suit her mood.[175][176] Scherzinger also wore the very first Twitter dress at the EE launch party.[177] In 2012, Scherzinger was ranked number one on Complex's "Hottest Singing Competition Winners Worldwide".[178] She was also ranked eighth "Sexiest Artist of All Time" by VH1 in 2013.[5] Scherzinger was ranked third on "Hottest Women in Music" by FHM in 2013.[179]

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 result of girl group success as a cultural phenomenon in the music industry.[37] With only two studio albums, the band became the best selling girl group of the past decade,[39] digital era,[180] and fourth of all time overall.[181] Since beginning her career with the group in 2003, Scherzinger has sold 50 million records worldwide,[182] and a further 16 million as a solo artist.[152] Scherzinger has been given several pop culture titles, including, "Princess of Pop"[183] and the "Hawaiian Pop Goddess"[184] becoming an international pop culture icon following her debut.[185]

Their debut single, "Don't Cha", was included in VH1's "Greatest Songs of '00s".[186] Worldwide, it has sold more than 7 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.[49] 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.[187] 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.[188] "Jai Ho! (You are My Destiny)" made Scherzinger one of only five other artists to reach number one in digital downloads in Australia,[189] as well as making it one of the best selling songs there and in the United Kingdom[190] with "Don't Cha", as of July 2009.[190]

In 2011, Rolling Stone recognized her instant success as one of the best dancing musicians, ranking her ninth in the world,[3] while VH1 included her as one of the "100 Greatest Women in Music" in 2012,[4] and was ranked eighth "Sexiest Artist of All Time" in 2013.[5] In 2009, Billboard also ranked Scherzinger as one of the most successful musical act of the 2000s.[2] 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.[109] 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".[191][192]

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.[5][193] In 2013, Fuse included Scherzinger on the list of "50 Girls Who Run The World"[7] and the "Top 100 Pop Breakthroughs".[6] In 2012, Fuse ranked the music video for "Buttons" on the list of "Top 100 Sexiest Music Videos of All Time"[194] and "Stickwitu"[195] and the former on the list of the "Top 100 Number Ones".[196] In 2007, MuchMusic ranked "Buttons" at number four in the list of the "50 Sexiest Music Videos of All-Time".[197] 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...".[198] Lady Gaga has been influenced by Scheriznger's role in the Pussycat Dolls saying, "There's something that's very humbling about being able to work with a powerhouse group like that. Probably the biggest influence that they've had on me is making me want to be a better writer."[199] Also in 2010, Scherzinger won the season ten championship of Dancing with the Stars with Derek Hough.[200]

She also made The X Factor history as the first judge to have worked on the US and UK shows.[201][202] 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.[203] She also had both lasting contestants in the final show.[203] Scherzinger has also been praised by several musicians and celebrities such as Travis Payne,[204] Ne-Yo,[205] Paula Walker,[206] Marcus Collins,[207][208] Amelia Lily[209] Jahmene Douglas,[210] James Arthur,[211][212] Union J,[213] Simon Cowell,[198] Louis Walsh,[198] Andrew Lloyd Webber,[214] Niall Horan,[215] Il Divo,[216] and others. Scherzinger is well known for her music videos, which often incorporate themes and dance breaks.[217] Critics generally favor Scherzinger's intricate choreography.[218] She is considered a sex symbol through her music videos and image.[219][220]

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.[221] In Brazil, Nicole Scherzinger released in April 2010, a line of products for C&A, she traveled the country, to promote the launch, where he participated in press conferences, and recordings of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.[222][223][224] 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.[225] In December 2011, Scherzinger began endorsing the imPress Nails manicure line and has her own signature series.[226][227] Later in 2012, Scherzinger became the ambassador for Herbal Essences.[228] In March 2013, Scherzinger was announced as an ambassador for British Airways promoting first class routes to Moscow.[229] 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.[230]

In 2014, Scherzinger designed and released her very own clothing line in London.[231] Her collection is for the fashion company Missguided and can be seen on their website.

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.[104] 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.[232]

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.[19] She put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band, Days of the New.[20] 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.[233] 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 April 1, 2011.[234] 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.[235] 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 December 5, 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 December 14, 2011.[236] 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.[237] On March 31, 2013, Scherzinger performed "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" for the "Andrew Lloyd Webber 40 Years" special anniversary.[238]

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".[239]

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.[240]

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.[241] 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.[242] 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.[243]

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.[244][245] Scherzinger has said that she occasionally visits associations for adults with special needs.[246] 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.[246] 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.[247]

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".[248][249] 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.[250] Most recently, Scherzinger has shown support for the Special Olympics at a tea party for British athletes.[251] Scherzinger was also featured on the 2013 edition "A Very Special Christmas" with all proceeds benefiting the organization.[252] Also, on November 14, 2013, Scherzinger was named the global ambassador of the Special Olympics.[253][254][255] On November 14, 2013, Scherzinger contributed to the Children in Need Rocks Manchester organization.[256] On November 20, 2013, Scherzinger was honored with the "Global Gift Philanthropist Award" at the Global Gift Gala for her contributions.[257]

Personal life[edit]

From 2007 to 2010, Scherzinger was in a relationship with Formula 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.[258] In January 2010, it was announced that Hamilton and Scherzinger had split up.[259] 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 but got back together again in March 2014 [260][261]

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."[262][263] Paula Abdul applauded Scherzinger for overcoming her bulimia addiction.[264]

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.[265] Scherzinger was booed off the stage and rumors spread that her future on the show was now in jeopardy.[266] 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."[267] 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.[268] On September 30, 2012, Scherzinger decided to put Rylan Clark through to live shows on The X Factor UK which caused controversy for both.[269]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Result
2007 ASCAP Awards Most Performed Songs[270] "Buttons" (The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg) Won
2007 BMI Urban Awards Award Winning Songs[271] "Come to Me" (Diddy featuring Nicole Scherzinger) Won
2007 Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals "Stickwitu" Nominated
2008 BMI Pop Awards Award Winning Songs[272] "Buttons" (The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg) Won
2009 MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)" (A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls) Nominated
2010 Pop Justice Readers' Poll Shoddiest Pop Video[273] "Poison" Nominated
2010 Pop Justice Readers' Poll Best Comeback[273] Herself Nominated
2010 Pop Justice Readers' Poll Worst Attempt at Launching a Solo Career[273] Herself Nominated
2010 Virgin Media Music Award Hottest Look[274] Herself Nominated
2011 Pop Justice Readers' Poll Worst Attempt at Launching a Solo Career[275] Herself Nominated
2011 TRL Awards Best Look[276] Herself Nominated
2011 4Music Video Honours Best Girl[277][278] Herself Nominated
2011 4Music Video Honours Best Video "Don't Hold Your Breath" Nominated
2011 4Music Video Honours Best Video "Right There" Nominated
2012 Cosmopolitan Fun, Fearless Female of the Year[279] Herself Won
2012 Pop Justice Readers' Poll Worst Attempt at Launching a Solo Career[280] Herself Nominated
2012 Pop Justice Readers' Poll Didn't Have it, Found it in 2012 Herself Nominated
2012 Teen Choice Award for Scene Stealer Female Men in Black 3 Nominated
2013 Social Television Award Music Award[281] "Boomerang" Won
2013 The Asian Awards Outstanding Achievement in Music[282] Herself Won
2013 Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year[109] Herself Won
2013 Glamour Awards TV Personality Herself Won
2013 Global Gift Gala Philanthropist Award[283] Herself Won
2013 Cosmopolitan TV Personality[284] Herself Won
2014 World Music Awards Best Female Artist[285] Herself Pending
2014 World Music Awards Best Song[286] Fino all'estasi (Eros Ramazzotti featuring Nicole Scherzinger) Pending

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