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Nicole Scherzinger
NicoleScherzinger-Promo10.jpg
Celebrity Profile
Birth Date 29 June 1978 (1978-06-29) (age 43)
Hometown Honolulu, Hawaii
Known For Singer-songwriter

Dancing with the Stars 10

Partner(s) Derek Hough
Placement 1st
Highest Score 30 (Paso Doble, Argentine Tango & Jive)
Lowest Score 23 (Quickstep)
Average Score 27.5

Nicole Scherzinger (born: Nicole Prascovia Valiente) is the winning celebrity from Season 10 of Dancing with the Stars.

Early Life

Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, into a Catholic family. Her father, Alfonso Valiente, is of Filipino descent, while her mother, Rosemary Elikolani, has Native Hawaiian and Ukrainian ancestry. Scherzinger's parents separated when she was still a baby. When she was six years old, her maternal family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, with her sister, Keala, and her German American stepfather, Gary Scherzinger. She took her stepfather's surname after he adopted her. She first attended Bowen Elementary, and later attended Meyzeek Middle School as an adolescent. Scherzinger states that, growing up, her family did not have a lot of money, and she thanks her mother 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. In 2007, she was inducted to duPont Manual Alumni's Hall of Fame as one of the youngest inductees. After earning a scholarship, she furthered her studies at Wright State University majoring in theater arts with a dance minor. During this period, Scherzinger garnered the lead roles in regional productions of the musicals Chicago, Guys and Dolls, and Show Boat.

Career

Career Beginnings

In 1999, Scherzinger was hired by Days of the New band leader, Travis Meeks, to contribute vocals on their self-tilted second studio album and later dropped out of college to tour through the US in support of the album. Meeks claims that after touring, the two grew apart creatively and that despite being an "amazing entertainer," she "just didn't seem to understand music very well … she's just not much of a musician, nor [does she] understand music."

In 2001, after her mother's suggestion, Scherzinger quit the band in order to audition on the WB's television show, Popstars. With the aim to chronicle the group's formation until the recording of their debut album, Warner Bros. imprint London-Sire Records signed the group to a recording contract before the band was named and had finalized its membership, due to the hours of network television exposure the group would receive. Initially hesitant at the idea of joining a group, she then opted otherwise as she saw it as an opportunity to travel to Los Angeles. For her audition she sang Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" and ended up winning a spot along with other four finalists, Ivette Sosa, Maile Misajon, Ana Maria Lombo, and Rosanna Tavarez, establishing the girl group Eden's Crush. Their debut single, "Get Over Yourself" was released in March 2001 and debuted at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the first female act to debut at number one on the Hot 100 Singles Sales chart. Their debut studio album, Popstars, debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 chart. They went on to tour with 'N Sync and Jessica Simpson, but by the end of the year their label went bankrupt and disbanded. During this time, will.i.am approached Scherzinger to become a member of The Black Eyed Peas, but she had to turn it down as her then-boyfriend declined. In December 2002, Scherzinger worked with Yoshiki of Japanese heavy metal 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 Pussycat Dolls

With hopes of scoring a solo recording contract, she peddled a demo CD to labels under her Hawaiian family name, Nicole Kea, because it was easier to pronounce. In August 2003, Scherzinger traveled to the Arista Records office in New York with a demo CD of her own written material. Her performance was interrupted by a citywide blackout and she was forced to leave. She also did a brief detour into acting which includes a cameo in the independent comedy, Love Don't Cost a Thing. Meanwhile, Robin Antin, the creator of the burlesque troupe the Pussycat Dolls, struck a joint venture with Interscope Records and, along with record producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair, launched an open audition for a separate recording group. After will.i.am recommended Scherzinger to Iovine, and in hopes to obtain a solo deal, she successfully auditioned along with Melody Thornton joining Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt Scherzinger suffered from bulimia following her first photo shoot with the group. She was required to wear a bra, underwear and garters; however, Scherzinger wasn't comfortable in her own body. Her struggle with the eating disorder would last for eight years, during which she would keep to herself. In 2004, Scherzinger covered "Breakfast in Bed" for the soundtrack to 50 First Dates. As the lead singer, Scherzinger assumed the majority of the vocals and is the only member of the group to have songwriting credits on their debut album, PCD which was released in September 2005. The album was preceded by "Don't Cha" which became their international breakthrough, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The album spawned other number-one hits, "Stickwitu" and "Buttons", the former of which was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards.

Once finishing recording the group's debut album, Scherzinger began working on her solo album. In February 2006, Scherzinger signed a global publishing agreement with Universal Music Publishing Group, which would cover her future songwriting. Her work as lead singer furthered Scherzinger's popularity as she continued to work on her own music. Scherzinger's first solo recording was a feature on Avant's Lie About Us that was released in July 2006 and later collaborated with Diddy on "Come to Me" which became Scherzinger's first solo top-ten hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. In March 2007, Scherzinger announced that her debut studio album would be titled Her Name Is Nicole and was initially scheduled for a release in late summer. Four singles were released from the project, "Whatever U Like" featuring T.I., "Baby Love" featuring will.i.am, "Supervillain", and "Puakenikeni", however, all failed to make any significant impact on the Billboard charts, although "Baby Love" was a moderate success in international territories. After a number of pushbacks, Scherzinger decided not to release any further singles from the album and at her request, Her Name Is Nicole was eventually shelved and shifted back her focus on the Doll's second album.

In February 2008, Scherzinger 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 Name Is Nicole, Scherzinger focused on the Pussycat Dolls' second and final album, Doll Domination. It was released in the United States 23 September 2008 and peaked at number four on the Billboard 200. The album included singles "When I Grow Up" and "I Hate This Part" which peaked at number nine and eleven on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. Both songs were originally recorded for Scherzinger's solo effort. The following year, the Pussycat Dolls embarked on a worldwide concert tour, Doll Domination Tour which began 18 January 2009. While on tour, Scherzinger was asked to re-write pop version of "Jai Ho" from the movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008). The song was entitled "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" crediting A. R. Rahman and the Pussycat Dolls while Scherzinger was credited as a featured artist causing an internal strife within the group. The song reached number one in seventeen countries; in the US, it peaked at number fifteen on the Billboard Hot 100, after charging eighty-five places consequently making the largest weekly leap from number 100. On 5 April 2009, Scherzinger performed the "America the Beautiful" at Wrestlemania XXV at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. After the tour concluded in August 2009, the group announced a hiatus to further pursue solo careers. In December 2009, Scherzinger was announced as the third judge joining Ben Folds and Boyz II Men band member Shawn Stockman in the first season of The Sing-Off. She returned for the second season before being replaced by Sara Bareilles.

Killer Love and The X Factor

In August, Scherzinger portrayed Maureen in the Hollywood Bowl production of the rock musical, Rent, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Her performance in the musical received praise from critics, Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times stated that "Scherzinger's powerhouse voice was meant for venues like the Bowl." Meanwhile, following the departure of the four members, Scherzinger announced that she departed the Pussycat Dolls to focus on her solo career.

Her debut studio album, Killer Love, was released 21 March 2011 in the United Kingdom. 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 album's second single, "Don't Hold Your Breath", became Scherzinger's first number-one single as a solo artist in the UK Singles Chart and singles "Poison" and "Right There" both reached number three. The latter one was remixed featuring 50 Cent and released as the lead single for the US version of Killer Love; however the release was never materialized. It peaked at number thirty-nine, remaining her highest charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist. Originally hired to co-host along with Steve Jones the first season of The X Factor US, Scherzinger received media attention after replacing Cheryl Cole as a judge joining Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and L.A. Reid. She generated further controversy and received backlash after sending the result to deadlock in Week 7 which resulted in Rachel Crow's elimination. She mentored the Over 30s; her final act, Josh Krajcik, was named the runner-up of the season. Meanwhile, Killer Love was re-released with four additional songs, including the fifth and final single, "Try with Me", and embarked on her first headlining tour in February 2012.

Scherzinger appeared as Boris' Girlfriend in the 3D comic science fiction-action film Men in Black 3, which was released 25 May 2012 through Columbia Pictures. On 15 June 2012, Scherzinger was announced that she would replace Kelly Rowland as a judge for the ninth series of The X Factor UK, alongside Gary Barlow, Tulisa, and Louis Walsh with a reported salary of $1.17 million. Scherzinger mentored the Boys category; both of her acts, James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas reached the final with Arthur winning the series. In March 2013, Scherzinger released "Boomerang" which debuted and peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart. Whilst planning to release a new album worldwide in November, Scherzinger unveiled that she had doubts about returning for the tenth series of The X Factor UK as the promotion for the album would clash with the live stages of the singing competition. She ultimately decided to return as a judge and scrapped the album "Boomerang" was associated with.

Big Fat Lie and Television Projects

In January 2014, it was reported that Scherzinger landed a $4.5 million recording deal with Sony Music Entertainment. It was later confirmed that Scherzinger left her long-time label, Interscope Records, for Sony's UK imprint label, RCA Records. In February, Simon Cowell confirmed that Scherzinger would not return as a judge in The X Factor UK for its eleventh series and was replaced by Mel B. Scherzinger's second studio album, Big Fat Lie was released in October. Commercially, the album didn't perform well on the UK Albums Chart, spending two weeks inside the top 100 peaking at number 17. The album was preceded by the singles "Your Love", "Run", and "On the Rocks"; the foremost peaked at number six on the UK Singles Chart and was a moderate success on other international markets. In December, Scherzinger made her West End debut starring as Grizabella in the 2014 revival of the musical Cats at the London Palladium where she played the role for a twelve-week run until 8 February 2015; her performance received rave reviews from critics particularly praising her rendition of the song standard "Memory" and garnered a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

On 30 June 2015 Scherzinger was crowned as the winner of the variety show I Can Do That, where six celebrities compete with each other by performing skills that they never knew they had. She performed the American national anthem at the A Capitol Fourth concert in Washington, D.C. on 4 July and several days later opened the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The following month, Scherzinger was announced as the co-host the hour-long live comedy-variety series Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris which premiered 15 September on NBC. On 22 October, the new music panel show Bring the Noise premiered on Sky 1 hosted by Ricky Wilson with Scherzinger and Tinie Tempah joining him as team captains.

Scherzinger was set to reprise Grizabella in the Broadway revival of Cats, but a week before rehearsal she quit after producers refused to give her top billing. In June 2016, it was confirmed that Scherzinger would return and replace Rita Ora as a judge on The X Factor's thirteenth series along with Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and Sharon Osbourne. She mentored the Boys category for the second time, with Matt Terry winning the series. Scherzinger voiced Sina in the animated feature Vaiana which was released 23 November 2016 through Walt Disney Pictures.

She was set to star as Penny in the TV adaptation of the movie Dirty Dancing, which aired on ABC and was produced by Lionsgate Television.

She is currently a panelist of Fox's The Masked Singer and has been since the first season.

Other Ventures

Scherzinger had re-recorded "Don't Cha" in Simlish for inclusion in the computer game The Sims 2: Pets. In Brazil, Scherzinger released in April 2010, a line of products for C&A, she traveled the country, to promote the launch, where she participated in press conferences, and recordings of the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. She has also recorded a version of "GoldenEye" – the theme song of the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye – for the 2010 video game GoldenEye 007. She also appeared in character form in the computer game Asphalt: Urban GT 2 in November 2006. Scherzinger's solo and Pussycat Dolls songs have been featured in an array of dance and singing games including Just Dance 2, Zumba Fitness 2, Get Up and Dance, Everybody Dance, Just Dance: Greatest Hits, and SingStar. In 2010, she made a commercial for the C&A campaign. In December 2011, Scherzinger began endorsing the imPress Nails manicure line and has her own signature series.

From 2012 to 2014, Scherzinger was the ambassador for Herbal Essences. In March 2013, Scherzinger was announced as an ambassador for British Airways promoting first class routes to Moscow. In April 2013, it was announced that Scherzinger would be the face of Müller Corner, a range of luxury yogurts and front TV and print campaigns. In March 2014, Scherzinger designed and released her very own clothing line for the fashion company Missguided and can be seen on their website. In September 2014, Scherzinger joined Proactiv+ as the new celebrity ambassador for the skin care company.

Musical Theater

In late 2009, it was reported that Scherzinger was working closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the musical, Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Although she has not yet appeared in the show, her version of the title song, "Love Never Dies", was played on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Friday, 1 April 2011. As part of the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, Scherzinger performed the title song at the Royal Variety Performance – held in the Lowry, Manchester – on Monday, 5 December 2011. The performance was aired on ITV1 on Wednesday, 14 December 2011. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Scherzinger sang "Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me" as performed by Janet (Susan Sarandon) in the film adaptation in the Hollywood Bowl in 2010.

Playbill confirmed Scherzinger as a cast member in Two Lost Worlds, a musical billed as "an epic tale of an ancient people saved by one woman." The musical was presented 31 July 2012 at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. On 31 March 2013, Scherzinger performed "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" for an Andrew Lloyd Webber televised program and was met with critical acclaim. In May 2013, Scherzinger endowed the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School with a $2,000 scholarship named after herself, titled the "Nicole Scherzinger Performing Arts Scholarship".

Philanthropy

Besides her career in music, Scherzinger has also contributed to various charities. On 7 July 2007, Scherzinger, together with other artists, performed at the Live Earth Concerts, which were held to raise awareness of global warming in the United Kingdom. In August 2008, the singer and other artists recorded the charity single "Just Stand Up", produced by Babyface and L.A. Reid, to support "Stand Up to Cancer". In September 2008, Scherzinger raised money for a charity fundraiser to assist breast cancer research in Australia with all proceeds going to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, along with other artists, she recorded "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", which benefited people affected by the tragedy. Scherzinger has also performed for many music events that donated to charities such as performing alongside Lea Michele for a performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Los Angeles.

In February 2012, Scherzinger attended the third annual Women in Music event which benefited the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America's public schools. Scherzinger says she enjoys her charitable endeavors so much, the work has ceased to be selfless and become a mere pursuit of her own pleasure, "I don't know if it's selfish because I get so much fulfillment out of it, but it excites me to be with special-needs kids and families. My aunt has Down's syndrome so it's very close to my heart," says Scherzinger. In March 2013, Scherzinger contributed to Comic Relief, which aims to "bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people, which [we] believe requires investing in work that addresses people's immediate needs as well as tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice". Scherzinger has also contributed to human trafficking charities such as the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking where, in May 2013, she participated in the "From Slavery to Freedom" event to raise money.

In November 2013, Scherzinger was announced as the global ambassador of the Special Olympics for which she recorded "O Holy Night" for the 2013 edition of A Very Special Christmas with all proceeds benefiting the organization. On 20 November 2013, Scherzinger was honored with the "Global Gift Philanthropist Award" at the Global Gift Gala for her contributions. In 2014, Scherzinger became UNICEF UK's ambassador and traveled to Guyana to meet and assist children with disabilities at an inclusive play-park. The following year, in support of UNICEF UK's Children in Danger campaign traveled to Manila, Philippines met children living in dangerous, overcrowded communities around the capital. She later performed "Brave" with the SU2C choir for Stand Up 2 Cancer to raise money for cancer research 17 October 2014. In September 2016, Scherzinger along with numerous other artists were featured on the remake of The Black Eyed Peas' song "Where Is the Love?" where all proceeds went towards will.i.am's non-profit foundation, i.am.angel Foundation.

Personal Life

Scherzinger met Nick Hexum of 311, backstage at a Days of the New concert around 2000 or 2001. They dated and later became engaged, but broke off the engagement in 2004. Scherzinger had an on-again, off-again relationship with Formula 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, from 2007 to February 2015. In 2016, she began dating Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov.

In 2012, Scherzinger publicly revealed her eight-year struggle with bulimia, explaining how during her time in the Pussycat Dolls, "I just hated myself. I was in a group but I never felt so alone in my life... I never did drugs, but hurting myself was my addiction. The music is what saved me. That's the only thing I can trust." Paula Abdul applauded Scherzinger for overcoming her bulimia.

Dancing with the Stars 10

In May 2010, Scherzinger and her dance partner Derek Hough won Season 10's Dancing with the Stars.

Scores

1 This week's dance received two scores from the judges; one for its technical execution and one for the performance.

Performances

Gallery

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