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Saturday, May 15, 2010
Previously, Scherzinger was part of reality TV girlgroup Eden's Crush and despite minor chart successes she was discontented with the group and quit. She then joined the Pussycat Dolls when they were a burlesque troupe. She took the role of lead singer when the group became a recording group. So far, the Pussycat Dolls have released two successful albums, PCD and Doll Domination, with two supporting tours.
Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her biological father, Alfonso Valiente is Filipino, and her mother, Rosemary, is of Hawaiian and Russian descent. In an interview Scherzinger said: "I’m Filipino-Russian-Hawaiian, but people think I’m from Pakistan."
Her mother Rosemary was eighteen at the time of Scherzinger's birth and lived in an inner city neighborhood. Nicole's parents separated when she was still a baby. Her maternal family moved to Louisville, Kentucky when she was six years old,with her sister Ke'ala and her German-American stepfather Gary Scherzinger.
In an interview with The Daily Mail Scherzinger explained that she had been brought up with a strict religious (Catholic) upbringing in Hawaii. She first attended Meyzeek Middle School as an adolescent. Growing up, Scherzinger states that she didn't have a lot of money and the singer thanks her mom 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.
As a teenager, Scherzinger was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky State Fair's Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest. 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, but put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band Days of the New.
Early career and Eden's Crush
Scherzinger appeared on the second album by Days of the New, released in 1999. She also recorded two songs with Barry Drake's F.O.B, which were released in 2001.
In 2001, Scherzinger competed in the premiere season of The WB's television show Popstars, on which she earned a spot in the all-girl pop group Eden's Crush. She became one of the main vocalists for the group. Their 2001 US single "Get Over Yourself (Goodbye)" peaked at number one in sales and hit the top ten on Billboard Hot 100. They toured in support of both *NSync and Jessica Simpson. "Love This Way" was the second single chosen from the Popstars album; however, their record company, London-Sire Records, folded and the group eventually disbanded. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi contributed one track to the album, and later went on to co-write with Scherzinger for PCD, Doll Domination and Her Name Is Nicole.
In November 2007, Scherzinger spoke of her time in Eden's Crush
“ ...It was hell... I was in a band with five other girls and every day was torture for me. We were on TV all the time and the atmosphere was awful.... Every day I was in that band I cried my eyes out. The band was meant to be fun and frivolous but the reality was that it was miserable.... I was too sensitive back then, but I got toughened up. I couldn't have gone into the Dolls without my experience in Crush. ”
After the disbanding of Eden's Crush, Scherzinger 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. This track was produced by Nick Hexum who was her boyfriend for three years.
Scherzinger 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. The track also appeared on the 2003 Various Artists album Exposition of Global Harmony.
Nicole Scherzinger, 2006
In May 2003, Scherzinger joined the Pussycat Dolls burlesque troupe, who were being re-cast as recording artists. She had first seen them performing on The Late Show with David Letterman in November 2002, where Carmen Electra sang "Big Spender" from the Bob Fosse musical Sweet Charity. In 2006, Scherzinger said "It caught my eye because I’d played Velma Kelly in [Fosse's] Chicago in college." In one interview she spoke of her role with the Pussycat dolls stating that it was a "challenge fronting the group" but that "every girl has something different to bring and add to the success".
The Pussycat Dolls have worldwide status as a popular singing group, with "Don't Cha", "Buttons", "Stickwitu" and "When I Grow Up" as Top 10 hits in the United States. The album PCD went double-platinum in 2006. Scherzinger sang nearly all lead vocals on the album, with Carmit Bachar and Melody Thornton also contributing. It was revealed in 2006 that the Dolls are salaried employees of Interscope Records, giving the label a high level of control over the group's finances and business decisions.
Scherzinger is the only group member with songwriting credits on PCD; she co-wrote "I Don't Need a Man" with Kara DioGuardi and producer Rich Harrison, and co-wrote "Buttons" with producer Sean Garrett. Another collaboration with DioGuardi, "Flirt", became a bonus track on PCD and later became a B-side to "Buttons." As with PCD, Scherzinger is the only group member to have songwriting credits on the second Dolls' album Doll Domination.
Along with the Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger was asked by Ron Fair to record the English version of "Jai Ho", the hit song from the film Slumdog Millionaire. The new version titled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was released to iTunes on February 23, 2009, and elsewhere worldwide on February 24. A video accompanying the song has been shot at a Vienna train station and was released worldwide on March 13, 2009. She along with member Melody Thornton are currently the only members in the Pussycat Dolls.
The success of PCD brought Scherzinger into the media spotlight and she went on to record a series of duets/guest vocals with a wide array of male vocalists. In 2005, she appeared on recordings by Shaggy, Vittorio Grigolo and Will Smith. In 2006 she sang co-lead vocals with Avant on his single "Lie About Us" , and Diddy's hit "Come to Me" (which she also co-wrote). Other appearances are listed in discography. In the biography section of her official website she says that everyone recognises her from the Pussycat Dolls's debut single "Dont Cha" which although amazing doesn't fulfill her musical desires. When asked what she intended to achieve with her solo career she commented "Some people only have their glasses half full, but there was never a limit to mine."The purpose of the album was to appeal to younger audiences, show them "the heart of Nicole" and show that she is "not always strong and fearless".
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. A commercial video was released, and the single was released via download only, after May 2008. 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". Also on September 5, 2008, Scherzinger joined an all-star cast to perform the charity song "Just Stand Up" on live TV. Scherzinger performed "America the Beautiful" at WWE's WrestleMania XXV in Houston, Texas at the Reliant Stadium on April 5, 2009. Nicole Scherzinger performed with guitarist Slash on October 2 in Las Vegas. Nicole has confirmed that she has done one song with Slash for his solo album Slash to be released in April 2010. In February 1, 2010 along with other artists Nicole had re-recorded "We are the World", a charity single for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.The song debuted during NBC's coverage of the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It was released as a single on iTunes in February 12, 2010 accompanied by the music video.
Solo album (Her Name Is Nicole)
From 2006 until late 2008 Scherzinger had been working on her debut album which was titled Her Name Is Nicole. 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." She recorded/wrote approximately 100 songs for the album which was supposed to be released in 2007 before being pushed to October 16, 2008 and later into 2009 before being shelved.
The album saw Scherzinger work with a wide roster of producers and song writers some of whom had worked with Scherzinger for albums with the Pussycat Dolls. Sean Garrett and Polow da Don worked on "Whatever U Like" (featuring T.I.) which was released as the album's lead single on July 24, 2007 but deemed unsuccessful reaching just 57 in Canada and number 104 in the US. "Baby Love" was the second single released on September 10, 2007. Although well received and compared to the Pussycat Dolls' song "Stickwitu" the track did not chart well in the US. Internationally the single fared well reaching Top 15 in most countries including the UK, and mainland Europe. It was remixed to be included on Doll Domination as a bonus track. The third single "Supervillain" was described as having a "danceable jam with a catchy chorus" and featured a reggae–dancehall interlude. Written by Rock City and produced by Mad Scientist it was only released to US iTunes in November 2007. The song's synthy melodies and disco-mowtown feel with Scherzinger's 5-octave range were not enough to chart in the US. Fourth single "Puakenikeni" (a type of flower in Hawaii) also released to iTunes in November was produced by Akon to as a tribute to Scherzinger's heritage but failed to chart.
Scherzinger on stage with the Pussycat Dolls
Other songs included the critically acclaimed "Just Say Yes", written by Gary Lightbody (of Snow Patrol) which was a soft and slow song with its pulsing, electronic beat.[ She told MTV of her excitement to record the song previously rejected by Gwen Stefani. "I'm such a huge fan of Snow Patrol's music, I felt like I was supposed to make it my own. "It's a very honest and truthful song." Ne-Yo gave Scherzinger two songs, "Happily Never After" a slow ballad of which Scherzinger said she felt it "important for young girls to have an empowering message that they deserve better". Interestingly the song was originally written for Britney Spears to record for her album Blackout in 2007. The other song has a tear jerking ballad called "Save Me from Myself" for which Scherzinger helped Ne-Yo in developing the hook before recording the song. When commenting on another song "March" Scherzinger said she wanted a powerful record. "It's about never giving up on your dreams and it’s about what I went through to get where I am today.Timbaland produced and featured on the song "Physical" on which his trademark vocals can be heard over the upbeat melody and thumping baseline. Part of the song was used in the film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The album sessions also produced number of other songs including "When Your Falling" (also co-written by Akon)[ "Power's Out" a riveting duet with American Grammy-nominated singer Sting (featured in Revlon adverts with Jessica Alba) and "I M.I.S.S You" written by Pharell Williams & produced by The Neptunes.
Doubt was cast over the future of the album when the Pussycat Dolls released their second album Doll Domination which featured some of the songs which had initially been recorded for Scherzinger's own album. "Happily Never After" and "Who's Gonna Love You" were placed on the album with no changes whilst additional backing vocals were added to "When I Grow Up" before it was released as the album's lead single. Christopher "Tricky Stewart" and The-Dream were also working with Scherzinger and produced, wrote and recorded at least two songs for the album. Both of the known recordings, "Punch You In Your Sleep" and "I'm a Cheat" were re-allocated to The-Dream's wife Christina Milian who has recorded them for her fourth studio album Elope due in 2010. Furthermore it was revealed that Keri Hilson (a writer who has been heavily involved in writing for the Pussycat Dolls) had written a song called "Alienated" for Scherzinger, however when the album was delayed and shelved Hilson reclaimed the song and instead recorded the song with producer Cory Bold for her own debut studio album In a Perfect World…Reviews later went on to give the song critical acclaim for its "electro-blips and whispery raps that are alluring." In September 2009 it was confirmed that the teary ballad, "Just Say Yes" was reclaimed by Gary Lightbody who has since re-tooled and reworked the song. It was released as the lead single from his band, Snow Patrol's compilation album Up to Now, on November 2, 2009.
Speaking about the delayed release of her solo album, in September 2008 Scherzinger said "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."
She was interviewed by Billboard magazine in April 2009 regarding her own career plans as well as what The Dolls were up to. She said "the current incarnation of the album is just in talks and in the writing process. I haven't started recording yet." She plans to enter the studio again after the Pussycat Dolls have finished their World Domination Tour. Speaking about the project Scherzinger said she will be working again with Will.i.am, Timbaland as well as with new associates Lady Gaga and A.R. Rahman.
At the start of 2010, Radio 1 added the album to its upcoming releases for the year, with the album still titled Her Name is Nicole. Contactmusic has reported that singersongwriter Ne-Yo who previously worked with Scherzinger on "Happily Never After" and "Save Me From Myself" is working with the singer again. He said "she is putting all her energy into her work". He was also quoted as saying
“ Nicole is in a state of liberation right now so the tracks are very free. She is in a place where she is happy to be alive and the tracks are definitely expressing that. The whole album is going to be a pressure release - a great big exhale - and I'm happy about that. She has a lot of emotions after splitting up with Lewis (Hamilton). But it's like taking an eagle and giving it back its wings. ”
On January 26, 2010 it was revealed that Jay Sean and Scherzinger were both working on something in the studio together. The video was originally posted to twitter but has been uploaded to the general internet too and shows the pair having a good time at Hit Factory (Criteria) record studios in Miami, Florida. In the video Scherzinger reveals she has been recording in the studio which Mariah Carey created some of her best known material as well as 'Studio F' where Sean recorded "Down" with Lil Wayne and where Scherzinger previously laid down vocals for Timbaland's hit single "Scream" with Keri Hilson. The pair also made note to T-Pain and Lil Wayne who were present at the studio. It is unknown whether the pair achieved any musical success e.g. recorded any usable songs and it is unknown if the records are for an upcoming single for Jay Sean, the upcoming third album from the Pussycat Dolls or Scherzinger's own heavily delayed studio album which is also due for release in 2010. Separately it was reported that she was working with Chuck Harmony whose previous credits include Rihanna's top-ten hit "Russian Roulette" (2009) as well as multiple credits on Ne-Yo's Year of the Gentleman (2008) and Mary J. Blige's Growing Pains (2007).
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, in Wanda at Large, Chasing Papi, Be Cool and Cane. Scherzinger was supposed to 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 it was cancelled and her role went to the filipina actress Ruffa Mae Quinto. She also made an appearance in the Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush show as herself.
In 2006 she made a "Bench Body" brand underwear commercial in the Philippines and in October 2008, she promoted Clear Shampoo and Conditioner. Both commercials were reportedly aired throughout Southeast Asia. She appeared in a Nike shoe commercial with basketball player LeBron James. In 2010 she made a commercial for the C&A campaign. In late 2009, it was reported that Scherzinger is working closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies.
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 10)
On March 1, 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger will be a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars for the tenth season and will be partnered with Season 7 Champion Derek Hough. The season premiered on Monday, March 22, 2010. Family and friends of Nicole gathered in Makaha Valley, at the home of her parents that she gave as a gift to cheer her on during the premiere of DWTS.
Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Viennese Waltz/ "Hold You In My Arms" 9 7 9 No Elimination
2 Jive/"SOS" 10 8 10 Safe
3 Quickstep/"Anything Goes" 8 6 9 Safe
4 Rumba/"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Technique 9 8 8 Safe
Rumba/"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - Performance 8 8 9
5 Tango/"Oh, Pretty Woman" 10 9 10 Safe
6 Samba/"María" 9 7 10 Safe
Swing Marathon/"In the Mood" 10
7 Waltz/"You Light Up My Life" 9 9 9 Safe
Cha Cha Cha/"Telephone" 9 9 9
8 Foxtrot/"Haven't Met You Yet" 10 9 10 Safe
Paso Doble/"Spanish Guitar" 10 10 10
In December 2009 Scherzinger served as a celebrity judge on NBC's reality singing competition, The Sing-Off along with singer-songwriter Ben Folds and Boyz II Men bandmember Shawn Stockman. The show was hosted by singer Nick Lachey. 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. In the finale/results show, Scherzinger performed "You Don't Own Me" with competition finalists "The Beelzebubs" of Tufts University.
Scherzinger met Nick Hexum of rock band 311 backstage at a Days of the New concert in 2000. They dated and later became engaged, but broke it off sometime in 2004. She was the inspiration for their song "Amber" and appeared in the music video. She also dated actor Talan Torriero from 2005 to 2007.
As of May 2008, Scherzinger had been in a relationship with 2008 Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton. At the start of September 2009 it was reported that the couple had split because Lewis was not ready to start a family. However at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix on September 13, he revealed that the couple were very much in love and definitely still together and denied the accuracy of previous reports. She was ranked at number 22 on Maxim's Hot 100 in 2006, and 21 in 2007. She ranked number 19 in 2008 but this time along with The Pussycat Dolls. In 2009, she ranked solo again and came to be number 46.Scherzinger appeared on the March 2008 cover of Men's Fitness magazine.
It was confirmed on January 11, 2010 that Scherzinger and Hamilton split up to focus on their careers but would still remain friends. A spokesperson for the couple said
“ It's sad because they did love each other. When you saw them trackside together they were always laughing But they had to be realistic. There was no way they could continue their careers and stay together - it was getting way too stressful. No one else is involved, their careers just got in the way. ”
However, on February 23, after being seen together in Hollywood, it was reported by The Sun that Nicole and Lewis are back together. Nicole hinted that there may be a wedding this year, implying she's engaged. As she was in a clothes store, the clothes shop assistant asked her if she wanted anything in particular. Giggling she answered
“ This year - my wedding dress. ”
See also: Pussycat Dolls discography
Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. UK CAN AUS GER IRE AUT SWI NZ SWE
2007 "Whatever U Like" (featuring T.I.) 104 — 57 — — — — — — — Her Name Is Nicole
"Baby Love" (featuring will.i.am) 108 14 — 58 5 15 21 14 — 51
As featured singer
2006 "Lie About Us" (Avant feat. Nicole Scherzinger) — 76 — — — — — — — — Director
"You Are My Miracle" (Vittorio feat. Nicole Scherzinger) — — — — — — — — — — Vittorio
"Come to Me" (Diddy feat. Nicole Scherzinger) 9 4 — 11 6 3 8 3 9 44 Press Play
2007 "Scream" (Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & Nicole Scherzinger) 122 12 41 20 9 10 18 45 9 8 Shock Value
2010 "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" (with various artists) 2 50 7 18 — 9 — — 8 17 Artists for Haiti
Year Song Artist Album
2001 "I Saw You" F.O.B. Love's a Woman's Game
"I'm Getting There"
2003 "I'll Be Your Love" (English Version) Violet UK Exposition of Global Harmony
2004 "Breakfast in Bed" Various Artists 50 First Dates Official Soundtrack, appeared on one track as 'Nicole Kea'
2005 "If U Can't Dance (Slide)" Will Smith Lost & Found
"Supa Hypnotic" Shaggy Clothes Drop
"Don't Ask Her That"
2007 "Scream" Timbaland Shock Value (album)
"Papi Lover" Daddy Yankee El Cartel: The Big Boss
"Fire" 50 Cent Curtis
2009 "Until U Love U" Pussycat Dolls Doll Domination Deluxe Edition
2010 "Baby Can't Drive" Slash Slash