The Stunning Transformation Of Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger was once best known for her work with the Pussycat Dolls, an all-girl group that rose to fame with catchy pop songs and super sexy style in 2005. At that time, you'd have been hard pressed to miss out on hearing their hit single "Don't Cha," which rose to the top of the charts and held its ground there for quite a while, as noted by Billboard.

Much of the success of the song, as well as the Pussycat Dolls as a whole, arguably was due to the talent and work ethic of Scherzinger. If anyone in the group occupied the frontwoman position, it was her, as noted by The Sun. Known for her tireless ambition, Scherzinger has made it clear that she's destined to be a star no matter where she is or what she's doing. You have to admire her chutzpah!

But Scherzinger is more than just a singer and a performer, with an origin story and a history that's all her own. So if you're curious as to where she's from and how she got started, read on the witness her stunning transformation.

Nicole Scherzinger was born in Hawaii

On June 29, 1978, Nicole Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to working-class parents. Then, after her folks split up, her mother remarried and the family relocated to Louisville, Ky. There her mother worked as a clerk and her stepfather worked as a welder, which makes Scherzinger's early aspirations an anomaly. "No one else in my family was creative, a performer," she told the Independent. "Maybe it was God's will? I just knew that it was going to happen."

Scherzinger knew she was going to be a famous performer when she first heard one of the greatest singers of all time light up the airwaves. "The moment I heard Whitney Houston sing, I realized that that was what I was going to do as well," she continued. "I used to sign all my yearbooks in school: 'Remember me when I'm famous.'"

Those early inclinations turned out to be right, as Scherzinger did grow up to become world-famous. But at the start, she was just a girl with lots of big dreams.

Growing up in Kentucky, Nicole Scherzinger says she was conservative

While you might be tempted to think that Nicole Scherzinger is super eager to flaunt what she's got, thanks to being a member of the Pussycat Dolls, that's actually not the case. In fact, she's quite the opposite at her core, thanks to the nature of her upbringing. "I was very conservative," she recalled in an interview with The Guardian. "I had really strong religious beliefs." And while she cultivated her spirituality in part to make her mother proud, Scherzinger still attends church on a regular basis.

In addition to being a conservative little girl in the '80s, Scherzinger admits to being something of a perfectionist, something she's never been able to shake off. "My mother said when I was a little girl, if I colored slightly outside of the lines, I would rip the page and throw it across the room," she added.

Much like her innately conservative nature, Scherzinger's perfectionism has also stuck with her over the years, for better or for worse.

How did Nicole Scherzinger end up in Eden's Crush?

While Nicole Scherzinger was harboring dreams of becoming the next Whitney Houston, she ended up taking a strange path to Hollywood. That was due to Scherzinger's mother, who made up her mind that she seize a different opportunity. "She saw a commercial on TV saying they were looking for the next new girl group, and insisted I audition," she revealed to the Independent. "I said no, that I was in this great acoustic goth band, and I was also studying theatre and music at college." She added that her ultimate dream was to be a Broadway star, which didn't exactly jive with that path.

Scherzinger had no choice but to heed her mother's instructions. "She just kind of pushed me out the door anyway," she continued. Plus, since Scherzinger wasn't exactly rolling in dough, this was a feasible way for her to make it to Los Angeles, where the real work could begin.

That's how Scherzinger wound up on the 2001 show Popstars, winning a spot in the girl group Eden's Crush, according to E! News.

Nicole Scherzinger's audition for the Pussycat Dolls was gutsy

While Eden's Crush proved to be Nicole Scherzinger's first break into the music industry, the group was short-lived, despite enjoying modest success. So it wasn't much later that Scherzinger managed to secure an audition for the Pussycat Dolls, which was pretty tough from the sound of it. "I don't have a good memory, and I remember that audition like it was yesterday," she shared in a chat with The Guardian. "They were rolling their eyes anyway, they only let me take two steps into the room." 

Fortunately Scherzinger wasn't fazed by the mood in the room, and she proceeded to nail the audition, thanks to her savvy skills and perfect pipes. "I pretty much sang an original song a cappella, standing next to the door," she continued. "All I had to go on was my talent for singing."

The rest is history, as Scherzinger was indeed selected for the group, which went on to become world-famous in 2005 for their catchy hits and gorgeous members. Our girl was on her way up!

When the Pussycat Dolls got famous, Nicole Scherzinger was working constantly

While some folks might have dismissed the Pussycat Dolls as just another girl group who looks pretty and sings, Nicole Scherzinger says it was quite the opposite. In fact, she credits herself as instrumental to the group's global success, thanks to her tireless energy. "They had their perfect candidate right here, because I am a workhorse," she explained in an interview with The Guardian. "I just rolled up my sleeves, got in the studio and turned out these records." And that's how the hits happened, as Scherzinger tells it, before they were even out of the studio.

In fact, Scherzinger put so much blood, sweat, and tears into the music of the Pussycat Dolls that she feels like she was so much more than just a singer. "I pretty much executive-produced those records," she continued. "That music felt like my music."

After about six years, Scherzinger confirmed that the Pussycat Dolls disbanded in an interview with On Air with Ryan Seacrest in 2010. Still, that's a pretty good run!

Behind the scenes, Nicole Scherzinger struggled with an eating disorder

From 2004 to 2010, the Pussycat Dolls were active, putting out two albums and performing live all over the world. But all the while, Nicole Scherzinger was struggling with bulimia (via Independent), which nearly destroyed both her life and her career. "I had started losing my voice," she told Cosmopolitan. "I couldn't sing at shows, and then I remember my manager finding me passed out on the floor..." That sounds terrifying.

Fortunately, Scherzinger took that moment as a wake-up call, and after seeking help, she was able to regain control of her life and health. "It's sad to see how I wasted my life," she continued. "I had such a great life on the outside, the Dolls were on top of the world but I was miserable on the inside." That's why Scherzinger has vowed to never let her eating disorder rear its ugly head ever again, as she refuses to miss out on anything else in her life.

Nicole Scherzinger's solo career never really took off

Nicole Scherzinger believed for a long time that she was destined to be a successful solo act. In fact, she was already working on solo material when she went on tour with the Pussycat Dolls in 2005, and she was still at it two years later. "I've been working on trying to get a solo deal for 10 years straight," she shared in a 2007 interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Now that it's crunch time, I'm scared. I hope [people] get me. I hope they see the truth and the heart of what I do." She added that she also hopes that people care about her work as an independent artist.

However, none of the singles that Scherzinger released while under contract at Interscope were nearly as well-received as anything put out by the Pussycat Dolls. Eventually Scherzinger ended up shelving the album indefinitely, perhaps because of the lukewarm reception of the material, or perhaps because of her perfectionism.

On The X Factor, Nicole Scherzinger says she gave "110 percent"

While Nicole Scherzinger's solo music career never took off in the way that she dreamed, that didn't mean she was out of the game — far from it. She eventually dropped her debut album Killer Love in 2011, which was fairly well-received, as noted by the BBC. She also tried her hand at acting that year in Men in Black 3 as Boris' girlfriend.

Then in 2012, Scherzinger landed the coveted job of a judge on The X Factor alongside shade king Simon Cowell and legendary producer L.A. Reid. She was on the program for two years, but wasn't invited back after that. What happened? "Well, all I know is that I gave 110 percent to that show," she revealed to The Hollywood Reporter. "I know everybody's talking about it, they're saying good, bad, they love me or hate me, but the one thing you can't say is that I didn't give it my all."

But that wasn't the end of Scherzinger's work on The X Factor, as she was brought to The X Factor UK years later, as noted by Deadline.

In 2015, Nicole Scherzinger was nominated for an Olivier Award

After Nicole Scherzinger learned that she wasn't going to be called back to The X Factor, she got the chance to cross off a major item on her bucket list. "Last year I sang Phantom of the Opera for the royal family and for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber," she recalled in a chat with The Hollywood Reporter. "So that reignited me to want to be back in the theater again, so I think I'm gonna do some more theater work this year."

To that end, Scherzinger starred as Grizabella in a 2014 production of Cats on London's West End, according to Express. She was even nominated for an Olivier Award for her work in the musical, which is similar to a Tony Award, proving that Scherzinger really has what it takes to be a Broadway star.

Scherzinger got into a bit of a kerfuffle with Cats creator Andrew Lloyd Webber when she bailed on the Broadway revival at the last minute to return to The X Factor, as noted by Playbill. Perhaps that's why she wasn't invited to audition for the film version?

Nicole Scherzinger had an on-again, off-again relationship with Lewis Hamilton

One thing that's suffered a bit in Nicole Scherzinger's life over the years is her love life, as she's always been so busy with her career. "I've probably matured a little later in relationships and [in] my life, because I started at such a young age," she explained while on The Jonathan Ross Show in 2016, as reported by E! News.

For a long time, Scherzinger was in an on-again, off-again relationship with Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton, often appearing on the red carpet together. But the couple called it off permanently in 2015, though the split was amicable. "I think it's quite natural when people separate and go their own ways," she continued. "You just have to be adult about it and just always wish the other person happiness, success and love — like, sincerely — and I do."

Still, despite her wishing the best for Hamilton, she admitted they no longer speak.

When Nicole Scherzinger heard about Moana, she knew she had to be a part of it

In 2016, Disney released Moana, an animated film about a Polynesian girl who dreams of exploring the oceans. That was a project that Nicole Scherzinger knew that she absolutely couldn't miss out on. "I am of Hawaiian descent, so when I found out they were making a Polynesian-inspired Disney movie, I was like, 'I have to be a part of this,'" she shared with PopSugar. "I knocked down Disney's doors to let me audition and make sure I could be a part of this." 

Fortunately the execs at Disney heard her request and cast her in the film alongside Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson. "It was awesome, and it worked out, and now I am Moana's mother in the film," she continued. "And my name is Sina."

Scherzinger added that she was thrilled to see Disney make a movie about Polynesian people, and she stressed how important proper representation can be. 

In 2019, Nicole Scherzinger tragically lost her cousin

While Nicole Scherzinger has had a charmed life in many ways, having become famous early on and enjoying a non-stop successful career, her life is not without tragedy. Sadly, in October of 2019, Scherzinger's cousin was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which devastated her mother and broke her heart (via The Sun). "It's just a horrible thing that I would never wish upon anyone else, and it haunts me every day that ... we have no justice for him yet," she confessed in an interview with The Guardian. We're so sorry for your loss, Nicole.

Going through that experience also shook Scherzinger to her core, as she realized just how real the permanence of death really is. "Nothing else will ever happen to you, because you're dead," she continued. "And that's a huge awakening, because that means you get one life."

Scherzinger posted a tribute to her cousin on her Instagram page, and she begged for the perpetrator to come forward.

Nicole Scherzinger believed in The Masked Singer from the start

The X Factor isn't the only reality show that Nicole Scherzinger has been a part of over the years. She's also a fixture on the hit competition program The Masked Singer, which she referred to as the little engine that could. "We just knew that it was massive and bonkers in Asia and an internet phenomenon on YouTube," she told Entertainment Weekly, "but for it to have really gotten its legs here and to continue to break records with the amount of viewers ... it's been mind blowing for us." Given that they had over 23 million folks tune in after the Super Bowl in 2020, that really is pretty amazing.

Scherzinger feels right at home on the show, too, and she refers to her fellow stars as a little family. "We love our job and it's not like going to work," she continued. "It's just going to have fun and hanging out with your friends." That sounds like a dream job!

Nicole Scherzinger wanted a Pussycat Dolls reunion for a long time

In 2020, Nicole Scherzinger's long-awaited wish finally came true when the Pussycat Dolls finally reunited. And this time, she was in a much better head space, as opposed to where she was back in 2005. "That is one of the reasons I was excited for us to come back because now I can actually be present and enjoy it as it goes [past] so quickly," she revealed in an interview with Glamour. She added, "We are all meant for great things and great purpose, we should instead enjoy life." Louder again for the people in the back!

The group also dropped a new song and video in 2020 entitled "React," which has amassed tens of millions of views on YouTube. They also scheduled a comeback tour for 2021, according to their website. The girls really are back and better than ever!

Scherzinger even found love with former rugby player Thom Evans, according to a post on her Instagram page. Who knows what the future holds next for her!