Nicole Scherzinger (born 29th June 1978) is an actress and singer/dancer best known for her work as the lead vocalist for The Pussycat Dolls under the stage name Nicole Kea.
Nicole was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Filipino father and a Hawaiian/Russian mother. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky with stepfather Gary Scherzinger, mother Rosemary and sister Ke'ala. She has described her upbringing as "conservative Catholic". She began her life as a performer in Louisville, attending the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School and performing with Actors Theatre of Louisville. Scherzinger majored in theater arts at Wright State University, but put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band Days of the New. 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. The group's 2001 single "Get Over Yourself" peaked at #1 in sales and hit the top five on Billboard Hot 100. "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.
In May 2003, Scherzinger joined The Pussycat Dolls burlesque troupe, who were being re-cast as recording artists. Scherzinger sang nearly all lead vocals on the album, with Melody Thornton and Carmit Bachar also contributing.
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 B-side to "Stickwitu" and a bonus track on PCD.
She was ranked #22 on Maxim's Hot 100 in 2006
Following the popularity of "Don't Cha" and the continuing rise of the Pussycat Dolls, Scherzinger recorded a series of duets or "guest appearances", predominantly with male vocalists. In 2006, she sang on Avant's single "Lie About Us" and P. Diddy's hit "Come to Me"
Nicole has been working on her self titled solo album with well known record producers such as will.i.am, Timbaland, Kara Dioguardi and Bryan Michael Cox. The album is due for release in 2008.
The first single, "Whatever U Like", featuring rapper T.I., was released in July 2007. The song was a commercial flop however, and it was soon announced that "Baby Love" (released September 2007) would replace "Whatever U Like" as the "lead single" from the album. Media reports commented on the fact that both Interscope's and Scherzinger's official websites started in September 2007 to refer to "Baby Love" as her first single. After both these singles failed to hit in North America ("Baby Love" charted well Europe), a poll was placed on Scherzinger's website, asking fans to vote for the third single. Choices include: "Supervillain", "Happily Never After", "Who's Gonna Love You" and "Powers Out". However on 28 November the poll was updated and the songs "Powers Out" and "Supervillain" were removed and replaced with "Puakenikeni" and "Physical". It was announced via the website on December 10th that "Puakenikeni" will be the next official single to be released.
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 acclaimfor 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 sayingNicole 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).
During a recent interview on "Good Day L.A" she said that her new upcoming single is title "Nobody Can Change Me". She commented as "an empowering, uplifting song." She explained: "The single is an empowering song, so it’s very much like Pussycat Dolls, but it’s just me singing the same thing".
She would later confirm it in an other interview that it would hit the radio.The song was debuted on Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM radio show.
Scherzinger also talked about her album:
"My music that I’m working on now for my album might have a little more rock, funk, soul edge, but it’s basically in the genre of popular music and it’s just honest music, fun music".
It is currently unknown if Scherzinger's forthcoming solo album will be called "Her Name Is Nicole".
Dancing with the Stars
On March 1, 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger would be a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars for the tenth season and would be partnered with Season 7 Champion Derek Hough. Her family and friends gathered in Makaha Valley, at the home of her parents that she gave them as a gift, to cheer her on during the premiere on Monday, March 22, 2010. On May 25, 2010 Nicole won Dancing with the Stars season 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.
On June 4, 2010, it has been announced that Nicole will take on the role of Maureen in the Hollywood Bowl production of the rock musical Rent, directed by Neil Patrick Harris.