Nicole Scherzinger (born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente on June 29, 1978 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a singer, actress and television personality. Nicole took her stepfather's surname after he adopted her.
Nicole was born into a staunchly Roman Catholic family. Her dad Alfonso Valiente is of Filipino descent and her mom Rosemary Elikolani is of Hawaiian and Russian descent.
Rosemary was 18 years old at the time of Nicole's birth and she resided in a inner city neighborhood. Nicole's parents separated when she was a baby.
At the age of 6, Nicole moved to Louisville, Kentucky with her maternal family, her sister Keala and her stepfather Gary Scherzinger (who is of German-American descent).
Nicole attended Bowen Elementary School and Meyzeek Middle School. She says that her family didn't have enough money while growing up and thanks her mother for all the support she gave her to become what she is today.
She attended the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School where she began performing. Nicole was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky State Fair's Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest as a teen.
During her college years, Nicole attended Wright State University where she had roles in "Chicago" and "Show Boat."
In 1999, she put her studies in art on hold to sing backing vocals for rock band Days of the New. According to band leader Travis Meeks, after touring for their album, he and Nicole grew apart creatively and that despite her being an "amazing entertainer," she "didn't seem to understand music very well."
Nicole left Days of the New by the start of the millennium, hoping to become a solo artist. She met rock band 311 member Nick Hexum at a Days of the New concert. They were engaged in 2000, but broke it off three years later.
During that time, Nicole was approached by will.i.am to become a member of the Black Eyed Peas, but Nick forced her to decline because he controlled her entire career to try to make her a solo artist.
In 2001, she went to audition on the WB's reality television show "Popstars" where she auditioned with Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" and later become a member of girl group Eden's Crush.
The group scored a pop hit with "Get Over Yourself" and released an album, but they disbanded in 2002 after their record company London-Sire Records went bankrupt.
In August of 2003, Nicole traveled to the Arista Records office in New York with a demo CD of her own written material, but her performance was interrupted by a citywide blackout & she was forced to leave.
Despite that, Nicole made a few promotional solo appearances under the name "Nicole Kea." She covered the song "Breakfast in Bed" for the movie soundtrack to "50 First Dates."
She also worked with Yoshiki of the Japanese rock band X Japan on his Violet UK project. Nicole sang the English version of the song "I'll Be Your Love" live with the Tokyo Symphonic Orchestra.
In November of 2002, Nicole saw burlesque group the Pussycat Dolls performing on the "Late Show with David Letterman" where Carmen Electra sang the song "Big Spender" from the Bob Fosse musical "Sweet Charity."
In 2003, she auditioned for the Pussycat Dolls when they were re-cast as recording artists. The creator of the group Robin Antin and Interscope Records chairman Ron Fair were impressed with Nicole's audition and offered the position of lead vocalist for the group and a solo recording contract as well.
In September of 2005, the band released PCD, an album combined with several dance-pop songs interlacing their burlesque style while the second half of the album contain tributes and covers.
PCD was certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold 3 million copes in the United States. To date, PCD has sold 10 million copies worldwide.
The group became one of the top-selling artists in 2006 while the album appeared at number twelve on the Billboard 200 year-end chart that year.
At the end of 2006, the IFPI reported that PCD was the 12th best-selling album worldwide and third by a female act.
By 2007, the album had sold 8 million copies globally. PCD has also sold 1,246,769 copies in the United Kingdom making the group the only female band besides The Spice Girls to surpass a million sales and one of the best selling albums of the 2000–09 decade.
The success of the group's debut album led them to became the most successful girl group in the world since The Spice Girls ten years ago.
Scherzinger initially generated much controversy over the provocative and sexual image of the band, notably upon the release of their debut single.
Despite the negative criticism, the song "Don't Cha" was a global commercial success, reaching number one in multiple countries and number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
It has sold more than 7 million copies, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.
Following the success of their debut single, "Stickwitu" became a second number one single for the group and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group at the 2007 awards ceremony.
On December 19, 2005 the Pussycat Dolls performed at the 2005 Radio Music Awards a "racy rendition" of "Santa Baby" were Snoop Dogg joined them dressed up as Santa Claus.
Following their performance, Interscope Records asked Snoop Dogg to be part of the Pussycat Doll's next single "Buttons" adding two new verses.
It became a worldwide hit reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and the top five elsewhere.
The single "Buttons" reached number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart which was the group's fourth consecutive number one.
The group logged their twelfth week at the top and became the eighth artist in the chart's history with the most number one singles.
The two final singles would be released from the album "I Don't Need a Man" and "Wait a Minute" and both reached moderate success.
The group was selected to perform for the introduction for ABC's coverage of the NBA.
They also toured with The Black Eyed Peas on their Honda Civic Tour and Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics Tour in 2006.
With the success of the group's debut album, it brought Nicole into the media spotlight, which resulted in a series of duets and guest vocals with many male vocalists.
She collaborated with Diddy on "Come to Me" which became Nicole's first solo top-ten hit on Billboard Hot 100 and Diddy's best selling single from the album in the US.
Nicole's first recording during her solo career "Whatever U Like" featuring rapper T.I. was released as the album's lead single.
Following the poor commercial success of the song, "Baby Love" was released as the second single on September 18, 2007.
It peaked in the top twenty in thirteen countries, including Germany, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
After the release of "Baby Love," Scherzinger had planned to release her debut solo album in late 2007.
As a result of a majority of the singles charting poorly in the United States, Nicole decided not to release any further singles from the album and at her request, "Her Name Is Nicole" was shelved.
However, confirmed by label executives, the project was put on hold so she could concentrate on recording with The Pussycat Dolls on their next studio album.
In February of 2008, Nicole (along with a variety of other celebrities) contributed to will.i.am's "Yes We Can", to support Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
Following the cancellation of her solo album "Her Name is Nicole", she focused on the Pussycat Dolls' sophomore and final album "Doll Domination."
It was released in the United States on September 23, 2008 and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200.
The album included the singles "When I Grow Up" and "I Hate This Part" which were originally recorded for Scherzinger's solo effort.
The following year, The Pussycat Dolls embarked on a worldwide concert tour, entitled the World Domination Tour on January 18, 2009.
While touring, Nicole was asked to re-write and make a pop version of "Jai Ho." The song was entitled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" and Nicole was credited as a featured artist which caused internal issues within the group.
The song reached number one in 17 countries and established Scherzinger as a solo artist.
After the tour concluded in August of 2009, the group announced a hiatus to further pursue solo careers.
In December of 2009, Nicole was announced as the third judge joining Ben Folds and Boyz II Men band member Shawn Stockman on the first season of reality show "The Sing-Off."
The show was hosted by singer Nick Lachey. She returned for the second season before being replaced by Sara Bareilles.
In January of 2010, Nicole began the recording and writing process for her solo album.
Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Nicole (along with other artists), she had recorded "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", which benefited people affected by the tragedy.
In March of 2010, it was announced that Nicole would be a celebrity contestant on the tenth season of Dancing with the Stars partnering with Derek Hough. She ultimately won the competition which concluded in May.
She later attempted to launch her debut album for a second time, with a brand new "rock, funk, soul edge" sound, and a brand new single "Nobody Can Change Me."
In June of 2010, Nicole was one of the many celebrities chosen to fulfill the role of judge whilst Dannii Minogue was on maternity leave.
She appeared as a guest judge alongside Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh during the Manchester auditions on the seventh series of "The X Factor UK."
Nicole eventually stood in for Cheryl Cole during the bootcamp stages. Meanwhile, following the departure of the four members, she announced that she quit The Pussycat Dolls to pursue her solo career.
From 2008 to 2010, Nicole began a relationship with Formula 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, however in January of 2010, it was announced that he & Nicole had split up.
The couple reunited until another split in 2011 due to conflicting work schedules.
On March 18, 2011, Nicole 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.
The latter one was remixed featuring 50 Cent and released as the lead single for the US version of Killer Love.
It peaked at number thirty-nine, remaining the highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100.
In May 2012, Nicole was hired to co-host along with Steve Jones the first season of the American version of The X Factor, however, she later replaced Cheryl Cole as a judge joining Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul.
She mentored the Over 30s; her final act, Josh Krajcik, was named the runner-up of the season.
Nicole did not return for the show's second season and was replaced by Britney Spears.
Meanwhile, Killer Love was re-released with four additional songs, including the fifth and final single "Try with Me."
In February of 2012, Nicole embarked on The Killer Love Tour, her first solo tour, visiting 6 venues.
In May of 2012, she continued her acting career portraying Lily Poison, the main antagonist girlfriend in the comedy film, Men in Black 3.
The film spent its first weekend atop the US box office and grossed $624 million worldwide.
In June of 2012, it was announced that Nicole 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 £750,000 ($1.17 million).
Nicole mentored the Boys category; both of her acts, James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas reached the final with Arthur winning the series.
At the same time, on an episode of "Behind the Music," Nicole revealed that she endured an eight-year-long battle with bulimia.
On February 23, 2013, she 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.
In March 2013, Nicole released the single "Boomerang" which debuted and peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart.
Aside from will.i.am producing "Boomerang," Nicole appeared on "Far Away from Home" for his fourth studio album "#willpower" and provided additional vocals on the song "Smile Mona Lisa."
On May 23, 2013, Nicole was confirmed as a returning judge for the tenth series of "The X Factor UK" with a pay raise of £1.5 million, joining Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and returning judge Sharon Osbourne.
Nicole and Hamilton reportedly reunited again in January of 2012, but by July of 2013, they had once more ended the relationship.
2014 to TodayEdit
In January of 2014, it was reported that Nicole landed a $4.5 million recording deal with Sony Records.
It was later confirmed that she left Interscope Records for Sony's imprint label, RCA Records.
The as-of-yet untitled album will be executive produced by Christopher "Tricky" Stewart and Terius "The-Dream" Nash. It will be preceded by the release of a new single in the Summer of 2014.
Also at the beginning of 2014, Nicole appeared on the song "And I Am Telling You", a duet with Sam Bailey for her debut album "The Power of Love." Meanwhile, Simon Cowell confirmed that she would not return as a judge on The X Factor.