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Nicole Scherzinger: From Pussycat Doll to Solo Music Sensation and Philanthropist

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Celeb spotlight is back! The celebrity chosen this week is one of my biggest girl crushes. Lately we have been hearing her name in the media because of some false romance rumors with fellow music star, DJ Calvin Harris, but artist Nicole Scherzinger is so much more that a pretty face in Hollywood.

Nicole Scherzinger was born into a Hawaiian and Filipino household in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her parents separated when Scherzinger was a baby, so when Nicole’s mother met her stepfather, she moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Scherzinger used all aspects of performing to cope with the challenge of being a dark-haired, tan-skinned, ethnic looking girl in a sea of people that looked nothing like her.

While living in Louisville, Scherzinger attended a performing arts high school, where she was able to refine her craft enough to obtain a spot as a musical theatre major at Wright State University, where she participated in many productions such as “Chicago” and “Show Boat.”

While at Wright, Scherzinger stepped into some performing opportunities that took her on the road, putting her studies on hold to do so. It was worth it because this led her to become a part of the group she is most known for: The Pussycat Dolls.

The Pussycat Dolls was a female pop music group that was known for their hip hop influenced dance moves as well as its strong and sensual burlesque-influenced feel. Nicole became the lead singer and the group took off, topping the charts with hits such as “Don’t Cha,” “Buttons,” and “Beep.” After seven years together, the group announced its break up in 2010, prompting Scherzinger to seek other opportunities.

Scherzinger decided to show her fans more of what she could do by dominating the ballroom on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in March of 2010, where she and partner Derek Hough ultimately won the mirror ball trophy.

After spending weeks in front of a judges panel, Scherzinger decided to turn the tables. It was then announced in 2011 that Scherzinger would join Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul as a judge on the hit show “The X-Factor U.S.A.” Her debut album Killer Love was also released that year, with the R&B/Hawaiian influenced track “Right There,” which featured rapper 50 Cent, topping the charts.

Nicole continued to push herself creatively. “Big Fat Lie,” her second album, was released in 2014 with moderate success. Scherzinger then decided to take her talents back to where they began: on the stage. Nicole Scherzinger is a classically trained artist, so it’s no surprise that she excelled in her role as “Grizabella” in the London revival production of Cats, where critics praised her for her outstanding work.

Continuing to embrace her classically trained vocals, Scherzinger sings opera frequently in various performances around the world. She has performed numerous times with renowned opera singer Andrea Bocelli.

As amazing as Scherzinger’s powerful vocals and performance abilities are, the philanthropic work that she has dove into since making a name for herself in Hollywood should also be noted and praised.

Scherzinger has recorded various tracks for charitable causes such as The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, and the Haiti earthquake relief effort. She has attended events that bring awareness to the need of arts programs in public schools. Scherzinger has also made strides to help the Coalition to Abolish Slaves and Trafficking, as well as being a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, and traveling to Guyana with UNICEF to assist with disabled children.

Nicole Scherzinger has made her charitable works a primary focus, which is beautiful to see. Having an aunt with down syndrome, Nicole definitely has a personal connection to helping those that are disabled. The fact that she has contributed so much of her time to helping others is something to be admired, along with her phenomenal vocal talent. For all of these reasons, I think we would all agree that Nicole Scherzinger is very much deserving of a “Celeb Spotlight.” You go girl!


Photo Credits: Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8