A new solo album and acting roles are just the start of her newest move—to become the music industry's next breakout star. But don't ask to work out with her. She's going it alone there too.
Nicole Scherzinger hates photo shoots. "It's probably my least favorite thing," she says with a laugh. Think about that for a moment. With her buttery complexion, knuckle-whitening physique, and smoky gaze, the camera clearly loves her. Hell, anything with an optic nerve adores her. So to hear Scherzinger say the feeling isn't mutual, that she doesn't much care for the medium that has conveyed her long-limbed, tawny-skinned message to such devastatingly successful effect...Well, it's a little like hearing Alex Rodriguez say he's not really into hanging curve balls. "I guess it's the static nature;' she says. "I usually feed off of other people. I like doing videos and live performances. Photo shoots are more about image."
It's telling that the question of appearances is on Scherzinger's mind. The 29-year-old multi-ethnic (part Filipino, part Russian-Hawaiian) singer has already found fame and multi-platinum success as the lead vocalist for the Pussycat Dolls, the burlesque-inspired girl group whose R&B-flavored debut CD sold 6 million copies worldwide and launched four Top 10 hits. And from the second she showed up on-screen,writhing around in a barely-there hoodie in the video for the groups debut smash "Don't Cha' it was clear that Scherzinger was the Dolls' meow. She was pushed into the limelight as the perfect embodiment of the group's ideology-an ethos that touted the virtues of female empowerment, sexual confidence, and tight-as-a-drum abs.
Having tested the waters of solo stardom with a few "preview" singles, such as "Baby Love" and "Supervillain," along with guest spots on CDs by 50 Cent and Diddy, among others, it's Scherzinger's solo album, Her Name Is Nicole-set for release later this month-that will determine the singer's true standing in the pantheon ofpop divas. She's already experienced both sides of success, as a superstar with the Pussycats and as a potential flash-in-the-pan, one-hit-wonder withher old group Eden's Crush (formed on the reality TV show Popstars), so she's well aware that this is make-or-break time.
It's her first—and best—chance to establish her own Doll-free identity. So although the bump-and-grindvideos, and comehither song lyrics (not to mention the sexy swimsuits she adorned for us) have served her well so far, the question still lingers: Is Nicole more than just a one-trick kitty? Our bet is that we'll be gazing at her for some time to come.