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.
Born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente
(1978-06-29) June 29, 1978 (age 37)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Other names Nicole Kea
Alma mater Wright State University (on hold)
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • dancer
  • actress
  • television personality
  • fashion designer
  • record producer
  • philanthropist
Years active 2001–present
Home town Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Website nicolescherzingerofficial.com
Musical career
Genres
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
Labels
Associated acts

Nicole Scherzinger (/niˈkl ˈʃɜrzɪŋər/; born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente; June 29, 1978) is an American singer, dancer, actress and television personality. After reaching one-hit wonder success with girl group Eden's Crush, she signed with Interscope Records in 2003 as a member of the Pussycat Dolls, a burlesque troupe-turned-recording act. During her time as lead singer, Scherzinger generated controversy concerning the emphasis of her role in the group. The group established themselves as a prominent girl group with the release of their debut album, PCD (2005) which spawned the number one hits "Don't Cha" and "Stickwitu". A hiatus saw the cancellation of a solo album.

The group's second and final studio album, Doll Domination (2008) spawned the worldwide hits "When I Grow Up" and "I Hate This Part" and a collaboration with A. R. Rahman on a pop version of "Jai Ho" entitled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" from Slumdog Millionaire (2008), established Scherzinger as a solo artist. Following her departure, Scherzinger won season ten of Dancing with the Stars (2010). In 2011 she released her long-delayed debut studio album, Killer Love to moderate success and featured singles "Don't Hold Your Breath" and "Right There". Scherzinger left Interscope Records in late 2013, signed a multi-million dollar contract with Sony Music Entertainment and released her second studio album, Big Fat Lie (2014). 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 was also a judge for one season on the American X Factor in 2011. As an actress she appeared in films such as Men in Black 3 (2011) and received critical acclaim for her performances in Rent (2010) and her West End debut starring as Grizabella for the revival of the musical Cats (2014–15) for which she received a nomination for Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

Throughout a career spanning 13 years, she has had 3 UK number one singles, sold 10 million albums and over 37 million singles worldwide[1] and 16 million records as a solo artist,[2] and a further 54 million with Pussycat Dolls,[3][4][5] making the group one of the best-selling girl groups of all time.[6] Since her first chart entry in 2005, Scherzinger has also scored 20 top 20 hits on the UK Singles Chart.[7] Outside of her work in the entertainment industry, Nicole is an Ambassador for UNICEF and a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics and is involved in charitable activities.[8]

Early life[edit]

Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, into a Catholic family.[9][10] Her father, Alfonso Valiente,[11] is of Filipino descent,[12] and her mother, Rosemary Elikolani, is of Native 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 and minored in dance 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 "just didn't seem to understand music very well … she's just not much of a musician, nor [does she] understand music."[21]

Career[edit]

2001–02: Career beginnings and Eden's Crush[edit]

By the start of the millennium, Scherzinger left Days of the New in the hopes of becoming a solo artist.[21] 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".[22] It aired as part of a reality series until the recording of the group's debut album.[23] Warner Bros. and Sire Records signed the group to a recording contract before the band was named and had finalized its membership, due to the hours of network television exposure the group would receive.[24] 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.[22] The group released their first single "Get Over Yourself", which charted at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100,[22] and number one in physical sales.[25] It also reached the top of the charts on the Canadian Billboard Hot 100.[25] They later went on to tour with 'N Sync and Jessica Simpson.[22] In 2002, the band's record company, London-Sire Records, went bankrupt, and the group split.[26] 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. Her performance was interrupted by a citywide blackout and she was forced to leave.[27]

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.[28] Scherzinger also worked with Yoshiki of Japanese rock band X Japan on his Violet UK project. She sang the English version of "I'll Be Your Love" live with the Tokyo Symphonic Orchestra.[29] Scherzinger met Nick Hexum of rock band 311 backstage at a concert.[30] They became engaged, but later broke up.[30] During this time, Scherzinger was approached to become a member of the Black Eyed Peas, but she had to refuse because she was "contracted elsewhere."[31]

2003–10: The Pussycat Dolls[edit]

Main article: The Pussycat Dolls
The Pussycat Dolls performing on tour in 2006.

In 2003, the creator of the Pussycat Dolls Robin Antin, along A&M Records former president Ron Fair launched an open audition for a separate recording group. Scherzinger and Melody Thornton successfully auditioned joining Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt with Scherzinger being cast as the group's lead singer.[32] Scherzinger suffered from bulimia following her first photo shoot with the group. She was required to wear a bra, underwear and garters; however, Scherzinger wasn't comfortable in her own body. Her struggle with the eating disorder would last for eight years, during which she would keep to herself and do it everyday.[33] In 2004, the Pussycat Dolls recorded "We Went as Far as We Felt Like Going" for the Shark Tale soundtrack and released "Sway" as their first single for the soundtrack to the film, Shall We Dance?.[34] The following year, the group released "Don't Cha" which became their international breakthrough, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and is one of the best-selling singles of all time at around 6 million copies. The success of "Don't Cha" prompted the group to record their self-titled debut album which released in September 2005. Scherzinger assumed the majority of the vocals along with being the only member of the group to have a few songwriting credits on the album.[32] The album spawned other number-one hits, "Stickwitu" and "Buttons", the former of which was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. PCD sold nearly three million copies in the United States. Once finishing recording the group's debut album, Scherzinger began working on her solo album.[27] In February 2006, Scherzinger signed a global publishing agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group, which would cover her future songwriting.[35] Her work as lead singer furthered Scherzinger's popularity as she continued to work on her own music. Scherzinger's first solo recording was a feature on Avant's "Lie About Us" that was released in July 2006 and later collaborated with Diddy on "Come to Me" which became Scherzinger's first solo top-ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100.[36]

In March 2007, Scherzinger announced that her debut studio album would be titled Her Name is Nicole and was initially scheduled for a release in late summer.[32][37] Four singles were released from the project—"Whatever U Like" featuring T.I., "Baby Love" featuring will.i.am, "Supervillain", and "Puakenikeni"— however, all failed to make any significant impact on the Billboard charts,[32] although "Baby Love" was a moderate success in international territories. After a number of push backs,[27] Scherzinger decided not to release any further singles from the album and at her request, Her Name Is Nicole was eventually shelved and shifted back her focus on the Doll's second album.[38][39]

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 2008, 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.[40] Following the cancellation of Her Name is Nicole, Scherzinger focused on the Pussycat Dolls' second and final album, Doll Domination.[41] It was released in the United States on September 23, 2008 and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200.[42] 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.[43] Both songs were originally recorded for Scherzinger's solo effort.[41] The following year, the Pussycat Dolls embarked on a worldwide concert tour, Doll Domination Tour which began on January 18, 2009.[44] While on tour, Scherzinger was asked to re-write pop version of "Jai Ho" from the movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008).[45] The song was entitled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" crediting A. R. Rahman and the Pussycat Dolls while Scherzinger was credited as a featured artist causing an internal strife within the group.[46] The song reached number one in 17 countries; in the US, it peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, after charging eighty-five places consequently making the largest weekly leap from number 100.[47] On April 5, 2009, Scherzinger performed the "America the Beautiful" at Wrestlemania XXV, at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.[48] After the tour concluded in August 2009, the group announced a hiatus to further pursue solo careers.[49] 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.[50] She returned for the second season before being replaced by Sara Bareilles.[51] However, in late 2010, Scherzinger officially announced her departure from the Pussycat Dolls.

2010–13: Killer Love and The X Factor[edit]

In January 2010, Scherzinger began the recording and writing process for her solo album.[52] In March, Scherzinger appeared as a contestant on season 10 of the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Derek Hough,[53] ultimately winning the competition which concluded in May.[54] She later attempted to launch her debut album for a second time, which she described as having a "rock, funk, soul edge", and a new single "Nobody Can Change Me".[55] In June, 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, from August 6–8, 2010.[56] Her performance in the musical received praise from critics,[57] Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times stated that "Scherzinger's powerhouse voice was meant for venues like the Bowl."[58]

Also in June, Scherzinger appeared as a guest judge on the seventh series of the British version of The X Factor, temporarily replacing Dannii Minogue during the Manchester auditions. Scherzinger later temporarily replaced Cheryl Cole during the bootcamp stage, where she was responsible for the formation of One Direction, which consisted of five rejected male solo artists. The group later finished third in the competition.[59]

Scherzinger backstage at The X Factor semi-finals in December 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.[60] The album included a second single, "Don't Hold Your Breath", which debuted atop the UK Singles Chart, and two other top-three songs, "Poison" and "Right There".[61] The latter one was remixed featuring 50 Cent and released as the lead single for the US version of Killer Love.[62] It peaked at number thirty-nine, remaining her highest charting solo single on the Billboard Hot 100.[63] In May, Scherzinger was hired to co-host along with Steve Jones the first season of the American version of The X Factor.[64] However, she later replaced Cheryl Cole as a judge alongside Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid, and appeared on the judging panel from the auditions in Newark, New Jersey.[65] She mentored the Over 30s; her final act, Josh Krajcik, was named the runner-up of the season.[66] Scherzinger did not return for the show's second season and was replaced by Britney Spears.[67] Meanwhile, Killer Love was re-released with four additional songs, including the fifth and final single, "Try with Me".[68]

In February 2012, Scherzinger embarked on The Killer Love Tour, her first solo tour, visiting 6 venues.[69] In May, Scherzinger continued her acting career portraying Lily Poison, the main antagonist girlfriend in the comedy film, Men in Black 3.[70] The film spent its first weekend atop the US box office and grossed $624 million worldwide.[71] 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 $1.17 million.[72] Scherzinger mentored the Boys category; both of her acts, James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas reached the final with Arthur winning the series.[73] On an episode of Behind the Music Scherzinger revealed that she endured a decade-long battle with bulimia,[74] saying that it was a very "dark time" for her.[75]

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.[76] In March 2013, Scherzinger released "Boomerang" which debuted and peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart.[77] 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".[78] In August 2013, Scherzinger returned as judge on the tenth series of The X Factor UK for reported $2.5 million.[79]

2014–present: Big Fat Lie, stage debut and I Can Do That[edit]

In January 2014, it was reported that Scherzinger landed a $4.5 million recording deal with Sony Music Entertainment.[80] It was later confirmed that Scherzinger left her long-time label, Interscope Records, for Sony's UK imprint label, RCA Records.[81] In February, Simon Cowell confirmed that Scherzinger would not return as a judge on The X Factor UK for its eleventh series, before announcing Mel B as her replacement.[82] During this time, Scherzinger recorded a duet with Sam Bailey on the song "And I Am Telling You" for Bailey's debut studio album, The Power of Love.[83] Scherzinger's second studio album, Big Fat Lie was released through RCA Records in October.[32] A moderate success, the record entered at number seventeen on the UK Albums Chart marking her second top-twenty album.[84] The album was preceded by the singles "Your Love", "Run" and "On the Rocks";[85] the foremost peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart.[86] Big Fat Lie is scheduled to be released in the United States in summer of 2015 through Epic Records and will feature a slightly different track list.[87]

Scherzinger made her West End debut starring as Grizabella in the 2014 revival of the musical Cats at the London Palladium, where she played the role ofor a 12-week run until February 8, 2015. Scherzinger's portrayal of Grizabella received acclaim from critics particularly praising her rendition of the song standard, "Memory" and had garnered her a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical.[88] She performed the song standard during the ceremony.

In May 2015, Scherzinger was a cast member on the first series of the NBC variety show I Can Do That, a one-hour comedy variety series where six celebrities compete and showcase their talents with breathtaking and unique acts—featuring skills they did not even know they had. Competing alongside Nicole for the first season of the series were acclaimed dancer and choreographer Cheryl Burke, superstar recording artists Ciara and Joe Jonas, comedian Jeff Dye, and actor Alan Ritchson. On June 30, 2015, she was announced as the winner with 17 points, 1 point ahead of Burke and Jonas.[89][90]

She performed at the national independence day concert A Capitol Fourth in Washington on 4 July that year.[91][92] Scherzinger will also perform alongside Avril Lavigne and Stevie Wonder at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games on July 25.[93]

Artistry[edit]

Musical style and voice[edit]

Nicole Scherzinger possesses a lyric-soprano vocal range which spans four octaves. She is known for her strong soprano vocals and conviction to convey emotion in her tracks.[94] A trained opera singer, Scherzinger is comfortable singing in a variety of styles (Jazz, Theater, Classical). Along with control and power, Nicole is able to sing complex melisma throughout her range, expertly alter the dynamics of her voice mid-phrase and, thanks to excellent breath control, hold notes effortlessly. Her mid-range is versatile and can be manipulated to add character and emotional colouring to a vocal. Nicole also possesses a whistle register.[95][96][97] Her music is generally contemporary R&B,[98][99] and dance-pop in some of her songs.[94] Though Scherzinger releases English language songs, she recorded Hindi lyrics for the Pussycat Dolls' version of "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)".[100] Throughout Scherzinger's career, her vocal range and music has been compared to those of Kelly Clarkson,[101] Leona Lewis,[102][103] Britney Spears,[102] Sugababes,[103] and Rihanna.[102] Scherzinger also sings musical theatre music.[104][105] She has received co-writing credits for multiple songs she's recorded.[106] Her early songs were female-empowerment themed compositions like "I Don't Need a Man" and "Hush Hush" and transitioned to more mature "break-up" anthems such as "Don't Hold Your Breath".[107] 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.[108]

Scherzinger's songs are written from personal experiences, as she said they are "personal and heartfelt" tracks.[109] She co-wrote the majority of her first studio album, Killer Love.[107] Scherzinger's songs have been described as "sexual innuendo"[110] and "funky electronica"[111] which are also backed by "electro beats".[112] 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."[113] Scherzinger said a lot of her first studio album was about her split with Lewis Hamilton before they reunited.[114] Scherzinger said that she wanted to create songs which "lend themselves to live performances".[115] She said she likes to record "empowering" ballads.[116] Scherzinger's vocals on ballads have been compared to Kelly Clarkson.[101] She said that she wanted her debut album to be "in your face and strong".[117] 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."[118]

Influences[edit]

Whitney Houston (left) and Michael Jackson (right) are Scherzinger's two biggest influences.

Scherzinger credits Whitney Houston as her greatest musical influence and idol, as she said she wanted to "be Whitney" when she was growing up.[119] She admired Houston so much that she auditioned with her version of "I Will Always Love You" at her Popstars audition.[119] 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."[120] Scherzinger also named Ella Fitzgerald,[119] Billie Holiday,[119] Roberta Flack,[119] Sade Adu,[119] Alanis Morissette,[119] Toni Braxton[119] and Tina Turner[119] as her biggest influences while growing up.[119] 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."[121] 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."[119] Scherzinger also cites Gwen Stefani as an influence.[118] Janet Jackson and MIA are also influences to her.[118] When Scherzinger was older, Mariah Carey became a huge influence to her.[120] She also wished to work with the Black Eyed Peas saying she admired their music.[122] Scherzinger is also a fan of Adele.[123] Critically acclaimed, "Pop Prince", Prince also became a big influence when she was in her teens.[124] Michael Jackson was one of Scherzinger's biggest influences and idols.[124] Paula Abdul, who Scherzinger sat alongside on the judging panel of The X Factor, was one of her influences.[125] 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.[126] 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."[126] Scherzinger said that the role has inspired her to record differently on her second studio album.[126]

Public image[edit]

Scherzinger is most recognized as the voice behind the Pussycat Dolls.[20][127] As a former member of the group, Scherzinger is the most successful as a solo artist,[128][129] having sold 16 million records, thus far.[2] Negative press appeared in which her music,[102] music videos, performances[130] and her image were unfavorably compared to those of Beyoncé.[131] In 2006, while on tour, Scherzinger ran into trouble in Kuala Lumpur with the authorities for sexually explicit dancing.[132] 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" and she was fined $3000 for the incident.[132] Scherzinger later admitted she cried when she saw the first outfit she would have to wear as a member of the band.[133] Scherzinger frequently has appeared in FHM Magazine's 100 Sexiest Women poll. Her History in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women: 2006 #49, 2007 #22, 2008 #49, 2009 #60, 2010 #73, 2011 #9, 2012 #43, 2013 #54, 2014 #9 and 2015 #24.[134]

Margeaux Watson of Entertainment Weekly took a major swipe at Scherzinger for her role as 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. [...] 2005's multi-platinum PCD finds lead Doll Nicole Scherzinger in the spotlight, and she's no Beyoncé."[131] Scherzinger has claimed that she was responsible for both lead and backing vocals on the group's songs, with hardly anything sung by the other members.[135] She commented, "...people don't even know the story. I was in the center because I was singing. I was the one singing."[136]

Scherzinger is also a supporter of gay rights.[137] 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.[138] Scherzinger's popularity within the gay community increased due to her work with the Pussycat Dolls.[139] One of the songs written by Scherzinger, "I Don't Need a Man", was dedicated to all of her gay fans.[139] 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."[139] Scherzinger is also very vocal when it comes to bullying.[140] She believes in acceptance and recalls receiving knock backs and the message of her music releases show how she dealt with them.[141]

She admits it is "frustrating" to read about the media's portrayal of her as "a man-eater".[142] Scherzinger has been linked to a number of different men, but insists none of the rumors are true.[142][142] 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.[143] All sales benefit the NYU Cancer Institute and NYU Langone Medical Center.[144] The outfits she wore as a Pussycat Doll and sexual dance moves they performed has continued ever since she embarked on her solo career.[145] Scherzinger said: "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."[146][147] Scherzinger also wore the first Twitter dress at the EE launch party.[148]

Legacy[edit]

Scherzinger performing on the Doll Domination Tour on May 4, 2009.

Described as the "driving force" behind the Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger is credited for the result of the group's international success in the music industry, during a time when girl groups were non-existent.[149][150] With only two studio albums, the band became the best selling girl group of the past decade,[151] digital era,[152] and fourth of all time.[153] Since beginning her career with the group in 2003, Scherzinger has sold 54 million records worldwide,[3][4][5] and a further 16 million as a solo artist.[2] Scherzinger has been given several pop culture titles, including, "Pop Princess"[154] and the "Hawaiian Pop Goddess"[155] becoming an international pop culture icon following her debut.[156]

Scherzinger's television and music video impact has also been acknowledged in pop culture where she is known for her music videos, which often incorporate raunchy outfits and dance breaks.[157] Critics generally favor Scherzinger's intricate choreography.[158] She is considered a sex symbol through her music videos.[159] 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...".[160] American recording artist 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 they've had on me is making me want to be a better writer."[161]

Scherzinger has received many accolades throughout her career. Rolling Stone recognized her instant success as one of the best dancing musicians ranking her ninth in the world.[162] 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.[76] 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".[163] She has been hailed as one of the sexiest artists.[164] In 2013, Fuse included Scherzinger on the list of 50 Girls Who Run the World,[165] and the Top 100 Pop Breakthroughs.[166] She also made history in season nine of The X Factor, where all three acts in Scherzinger's category made it to the final five, the first time this has happened in the history of the show.[167] She also had both lasting contestants in the final show.[167]

Other ventures[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Scherzinger had re-recorded "Don't Cha" in Simlish for inclusion in the computer game The Sims 2: Pets.[168] In Brazil, Scherzinger released in April 2010, a line of products for C&A, she traveled the country, to promote the launch, where she participated in press conferences, and recordings of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.[169][170][171] 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.[172] In December 2011, Scherzinger began endorsing the imPress Nails manicure line and has her own signature series.[173][174]

From 2012 to 2014, Scherzinger was the ambassador for Herbal Essences.[175] In March 2013, Scherzinger was announced as an ambassador for British Airways promoting first class routes to Moscow.[176] 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.[177] In March 2014, Scherzinger designed and released her very own clothing line for the fashion company Missguided and can be seen on their website.[178] In September 2014, Scherzinger joined Proactiv+ as the new celebrity ambassador for the skin care company.[179]

Musical theatre[edit]

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] 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.[180] 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.[181] 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. The performance was aired on ITV1 on Wednesday December 14, 2011.[182] To celebrate the 35th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Scherzinger sang "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me" as performed by Janet (Susan Sarandon) in the film adaptation in the Hollywood Bowl in 2010.[183]

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 was presented July 31, 2012 at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.[184] On March 31, 2013, Scherzinger performed "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" for an Andrew Lloyd Webber televised program and was met with critical acclaim.[185] 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".[186]

In December, Scherzinger made her West End debut starring as Grizabella in the 2014 revival of the musical Cats at the London Palladium where she played the role for a 12-week run until February 8, 2015.[187] Scherzinger's portrayal of Grizabella received acclaim from critics particularly praising her rendition of the song standard "Memory".[188]

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. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, along with other artists, Scherzinger recorded "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", which benefited people affected by the tragedy.[189] 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.[190] 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.[191] 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.[183]

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.[192] 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.[193] 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".[194] 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.[195]

In November 2013, Scherzinger was announced as the global ambassador of the Special Olympics for which she recorded "O Holy Night" for the 2013 edition of A Very Special Christmas with all proceeds benefiting the organization.[196][197] On November 14, 2013, Scherzinger contributed to the Children in Need Rocks Manchester organization.[198] On November 20, 2013, Scherzinger was honored with the "Global Gift Philanthropist Award" at the Global Gift Gala for her contributions.[199] In 2014, Scherzinger traveled to Guyana to work with disabled children for UNICEF charities.[200] She later performed "Brave" with the SU2C choir for Stand Up 2 Cancer to raise money for cancer research on October 17, 2014.[201]

Personal life[edit]

From 2007 to 2010, Scherzinger was in a relationship with two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.[202] In January 2010, it was announced that Hamilton and Scherzinger had split up.[203] The couple reunited until another split in 2011 due to conflicting work schedules. They reportedly reunited again in January 2012,[204] but by July 2013 they had once more ended the relationship but got back together again in March 2014.[205] In February 2015, Scherzinger and Hamilton split up again.[206]

In 2014 Scherzinger and Hamilton went on a pilgrimage to the Vatican. They viewed a papal chalice and met with Pope Francis for a blessing on their engagement.[207]

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."[208][209] Paula Abdul applauded Scherzinger for overcoming her bulimia addiction.[210] Nicole Scherzinger is a distant cousin of Korean underground rapper Dok2.

The X Factor controversies[edit]

In week 7 of The X Factor (U.S.), L.A. Reid voted to eliminate contestant Rachel Crow from the show over Marcus Canty, who had two votes; Scherzinger, not wanting to send either home, cast the second vote against Rachel, which 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.[211] Scherzinger was booed off the stage and rumors spread that her future on the show was now in jeopardy.[212] 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."[213] 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.[214] On September 30, 2012, Scherzinger decided to put Rylan Clark through to live shows on The X Factor (UK), which caused controversy for both.[215]

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Tours[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref
2007
Grammy Award Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals "Stickwitu" Nominated
[216]
2009
MTV Video Music Award Best Choreography "Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny)" Nominated
[217]
2011
TRL Awards Best Look Herself Nominated
2012
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Scene Stealer Men in Black 3 Nominated
[218]
2012
Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards Ultimate Fun Fearless Female Herself Won
[219]
2013
The Asian Awards Outstanding Achievement in Music Herself Won
[220]
2013
Glamour Women of the Year Awards TV Personality Herself Won
[221]
2013
Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year Awards Ultimate TV personality Herself Won
[222]
2014
World Music Awards Best Female Artist Herself Nominated
[223]
2014
Best Live Act Herself Nominated
[224]
2014
Best Entertainer of the Year Herself Nominated
[225]
2014
Best Song "Fino all'estasi" Nominated
[226]
2014
MTV Europe Music Awards Best World Stage Performance Herself Nominated
[227]
2015
Laurence Olivier Award Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical Cats Nominated
[228]
2015
Teen Choice Awards Choice Selfie Taker Herself Pending
[229]

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