has been turning heads since 2004 as lead singer of the burlesque troupe-turned-pop girl group The Pussycat Dolls. While many know the Polynesian bombshell for being a sexy lead singer, VH1’s Behind The Music was the first time Nicole revealed the many demons she dealt with behind the scenes. “I’ve never spoke about it. It’s embarrassing. I never wanna play a victim,” she says. “Do you know how hard it is to not like yourself?”
Born and raised in Hawaii, Scherzinger’s goal was simply to sing after recieving a boombox one year for Christmas. “It wasn’t about the money or the fame. I wanted to be Whitney friggin’ Houston.” From that moment on, everything Nicole did was music-related. Whether it was participating in school musicals, singing background or being part of a band, having a successful solo career was the destination.
Scherzinger got her first taste of superstardom after auditioning and successfully becoming part of Eden’s Crush, a girl group manafactured via the reality show Popstars. As one of the lead soloists on the groups only hit “Get Over Yourself,” it was clear that no matter the outcome, Nicole’s place in the industry was cemented.
After happily disbanding from the group, Nicole continued to work towards her goal and eventually met a man who would become her fiancée and manager. Although it seemed like a recipe for success, the relationship’s downfall was his controlling ways and ego that stood in the way of many opportunities, including a chance to be a part of The Black Eyed Peas (pre-Fergie).
It seemed like Nicole’s journey was over until she saw an audition notice for The Pussycat Dolls. Although Nicole was hesitant and extremely nervous, she made it just as auditions were closing and wowed everyone with her raw talent, despite her nerdy girl style. “At the time I wore glasses, a full button-up blouse, and I just bought these new pinstripe pants from Forever 21. I just looked like…a nerd.”
Because Nicole’s fellow group members were primarily dancers (except Melody Thornton), it was her that recorded over 95% of the Dolls’ vocals and established herself as the face and voice of the group: “I love those girls. Those are my sisters. But people don’t know the whole story. I was in center because I was singing. I was the one singing. I’ll never forget, I finished the album PCD and Ron and I brought the girls into the studio and played it for them. And it was the first time they’d ever heard the music. Do you understand what I’m saying? We played the album for the Pussycat Dolls.’
The beginning of the Dolls also marked the beginning of Nicole’s nine year battle with bulimia, a disease that stemmed from her insecurities about her looks at a younger age. While society would label a girl like Nicole as gorgeous, she still felt inadequate inside, especially as the lead singer of a group who’s popularity was partly due to their sexy look. “For our first photo shoot, I got my outfit and my outfit was a bra, some underwear, some garters, I was sweatin in the back room and I was like I don’t wanna go out, I can’t do this,” she says.” “It was all new to me and I was incredibly scared. I was not comfortable with my body. I never did drugs but hurting myself was my addiction,” she revealed.
In combination with the other girls’ resentment for being in the background and Nicole’s personal demons, the group officially disbanded in 2011 after two successful albums. The end of the group and the beginning of a solo career also marked the end of Nicole’s battle with bulimia. “Music is my therapy, prescription music is what I call it. The music is the thing that saved me. It’s the only thing I can rely on. It’s the only thing I can trust.”
Let’s hope that 2013 brings Nicole the solo success she’s always dreamed of. —Nicole Brown