The Pussycat Dolls (abbreviated to
PCD) are an American pop girl group and dance ensemble founded by
choreographer Robin Antin in 1995 as a burlesque troupe based in Los
Angeles. After attracting national attention, Antin eventually negotiated
a record deal with Interscope Records in 2003 turning the group into a
music franchise, comprising Nicole Scherzinger alongside Melody Thornton,
Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Kimberly Wyatt and Carmit Bachar. Since
then the group has developed a global image and commercial brand overseen
by Antin, Interscope and various partners. They have diversified into
reality television programs, a Las Vegas and product endorsements amongst
Success as a music group came in 2005 with their first album PCD which
debuted at number five in the US producing three successful singles "Don't
Cha", "Buttons", and "Stickwitu"; the latter earned the group a Grammy
Award nomination. Following the departure of Carmit Bachar in March 2008,
the group continued as a quintet and in September of that year they
released their second album, Doll Domination, spawning singles "When I
Grow Up", "I Hate This Part" and "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)".
Throughout their rise to fame, the group has been criticized for its
overtly sexual image and explicit dance routines. The group has also been
scrutinized for the over-emphasis on lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, who
sings all lead vocals in the group. In late 2009 / early 2010 the group
went on hiatus to record their third album and world tour. It has since
been confirmed that Jessica Sutta, Kimberly Wyatt, and Ashley Roberts have
all left the group and that Scherzinger will return with a new line-up and
album at the end of 2010 which could still include Melody Thornton.
Antin began exploring the idea of a modern burlesque troupe during 1990
with Christina Applegate and Carla Kama. The dance troupe's first
performance was in 1995. During this period which have seen many members
in its evolving lineup since debuting in 1995, they performed with
numerous guest vocalists, with a repertoire of 1950s and 1960s popular
music standards while dressed in lingerie or old-fashioned pin-up
costumes. They secured a Thursday night residency at a Los Angeles
nightclub, The Viper Room, where they stayed from 1995 to 2001.
The troupe received wider press coverage during June 1999, when Playboy
featured a Pussycat Dolls pictorial, featuring at least seven contemporary
members posing semi-nude (Kasey Campbell, Kiva Dawson, Antonietta Macri,
Erica Breckels, Katie Bergold, Erica Gudis and Lindsley Allen). Three
years later, the Dolls moved to The Roxy. The group became internationally
popular and was featured in magazines, television specials for MTV and
VH1, ad campaigns, and movies. Some of the Pussycat Dolls appeared in the
2003 film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, dancing to "The Pink Panther
Theme". They were also featured in Pink's "Trouble" music video. Along
with Christina Applegate, Christina Aguilera and Carmen Electra (who was
the group's lead performer for many of their shows) the troupe was
featured in a Maxim magazine shoot in 2002, which increased public
interest in them.
Following their growing popularity, music producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron
Fair became involved with the group helping them to transform into a
franchise. The former dance troupe evolved into a popular music recording
group and became employees of Iovine's label Interscope Records. The only
troupe members who remained after the re-casting process were Antin
(taking on the creative, executive and managerial roles), Carmit Bachar,
Cyia Batten, Kasey Campbell, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly
Wyatt. Later in 2003, Scherzinger, Kaya Jones and Melody Thornton were
cast as vocalists through an audition to complete the transition into a
Electra, when asked about her lack of involvement with the group's
evolution into a popular music group, said:
“ I was part of The Dolls for over two years and did every show with
them... but financially, I couldn't become part of their new music
project... It was a sacrifice I couldn't make.
In parallel with the Pussycat Dolls franchise as a recording act, during
April 2005 a resident live show commenced at the "Pussycat Dolls Lounge"
adjacent to Pure Nightclub in Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. This
show contains "cast members" who continue the burlesque-style show which
began in Los Angeles during 1995.
At least one early member of the L.A. dance troupe, Rachel Sterling, made
the move to the Las Vegas show. The cast includes vocalist Jamie Preston,
Hayley Zelniker, Amanda Nowak, Colby Amanda and Alicia. Former dolls
include Meredith, Jessica Lea, Rachel Sterling, Laurel, Laura Diane,
Cindy, Ashley Gates, Bridget Nicole, Jennifer Affronti, Sheila Joy and
Jamie Ruiz from Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious.
During February 2007, Caesars Palace opened the Pussycat Dolls Casino just
across the Pussycat Dolls Lounge. It features "Dolls-style" decor and
attire for the gaming staff, waitresses and dancers. The Dolls returned to
Los Angeles and the Viper Room from November 2008 for regular Friday and
Saturday nights performances billed as the "Pussycat Dolls Lounge".
During 2003, Scherzinger, a former member of Popstars winners Eden's
Crush, became the recording group's lead singer. In the same year,
vocalist Thornton and Jones were also recruited in order to add vocal
strength to the group. The musical group's initial line-up consisted of
Scherzinger, Thornton, Jones, Antin, Bachar, Batten, Campbell, Wyatt,
Roberts, and Sutta. The group appeared in two soundtracks during 2004, for
the films Shark Tale and Shall We Dance?. The newly formed recording
group's first single was "Sway" from Shall We Dance?, with a music video
inspired by the movie.
In 2004, just before the group's debut, Batten and Campbell left the group
to pursue their solo dancing careers. Later in 2005, Jones left the group
after recording their debut album, to pursue modeling and a solo musical
career. Antin remained with the group as founder, manager and business
associate to Interscope. By the time the recording group was launched the
musical lineup was a sextet composed of Scherzinger, Thornton, Bachar,
Sutta, Roberts and Wyatt.
On September 13, 2005, they released their debut album, PCD, which debuted
at number five on the Billboard 200. Their first single, "Don't Cha" was a
success, reaching number one in multiple countries including UK, Australia
and Canada and scored a maximum of number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was originally sung by Tori Alamaze and featured rapper Busta
Rhymes. The ballad "Stickwitu" was another top five in the US, and was
their second number one in the UK. It was later nominated for a Grammy for
Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group. "Beep", featuring will.i.am, was
less successful but did reach number one in some international markets.
"Buttons" (with rapper Snoop Dogg) scored number three on the UK Singles
Chart; the next single, "I Don't Need a Man" was not as successful,
although it scored the top 10 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and UK.
The group's sixth single from the album was "Wait a Minute" featuring
Timbaland released in the US in August 2006, becoming a top 40 success
worldwide. The group was selected to perform for the introduction for
ABC's coverage of the NBA. During 2007, a version of "Right Now" was used
as a theme song for the NBA, though the lyrics had been altered.
In 2007, Asia Nitollano nominally became the group's seventh member after
winning in the reality show Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For the
Next Doll, giving her the opportunity to sing on the next album and on
tour. It was rumored that the Dolls would record a version of "Lady
Marmalade", which Nitollano sang during the show's finale. This was never
confirmed by the management nor the group. Nitollano performed for the
first time with the Dolls during the show's finale, singing their Number 1
Hit "Don't Cha". She later performed again with the Dolls during the The
CW Upfronts Party. Her place in the group was questioned due to her only
seen performing with the group twice, and was intensified by her
non-appearance most notably during the group's Live Earth performances.
While the Pussycat Dolls were on break between the recording of the two
albums Scherzinger worked on her own debut album titled Her Name is
Nicole. She released four singles, none of which matched the commercial
success of her work with the Dolls. The album was scheduled for a late
2007 release, then rescheduled for October 2008, and but the project was
then shelved in late 2008 and some of the songs appeared on the group's
second album titled Doll Domination. Just before the album's release
longstanding memeber of the group Carmit Bachar announced she was
departing the group for a solo career. The group performed for the first
time after their break and as a quintet for US troops in Kuwait for
The group returned to the Music scene on May 27, 2008 with the new single
"When I Grow Up" which reached number nine on the U.S. Hot 100 and number
one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. The song topped several European
charts and became a worlwide top ten hit. The follow-up single "Whatcha
Think About That" with Missy Elliott failed to enter the U.S. charts only
managing number 8 on the Bubbling Under chart but managed to reach top 20
in several other countries including the UK with a limited release.
After a slight delay and with two singles released the album, Doll
Domination was finally released as a standard and deluxe edition. The
latter featured a disc with a solo song by each of the girls. The album
debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, with 79,000 copies sold in
its first week beating their debut album by one chart position but selling
20,000 less copies. It only spent seven weeks in the top 100, compared
with their debut album which sat in the top 100 for nearly one year. In
January 2009 it re-entered the top 100 following several more successful
singles. The album in original form spawned two other singles, worldwide
top 20 hit "I Hate This Part" and the number-one club song "Bottle Pop"
which only received a limited release in the US and Oceania. A world tour
titled The Doll Domination Tour accompanied the album and began in
Aberdeen, Scotland on January 18, 2009.
In April 2009 Scherzinger confirmed to Billboard that the album would be
re-released to give more people a chance to get their music. In Europe the
album was re-released with three or four new songs. In Australia a
compilation called Doll Domination 2.0 was released with six songs from
the original version plus four new songs whereas the UK received a
six-song EP, [Doll Domination: The Mini Collection on April 27, 2009
featuring four of the original songs plus a remix and a new song. In
August 2009 the album was repackaged once more, this time as Doll
Domination 3.0 to include all of the previously released bonus songs on
one CD with the original album. It released was limited to Europe and the
UK where the group's singles had all reached top 20.
The repackaged versions spawned two more singles: the worldwide number one
"Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" (featured on the soundtrack for Slumdog
Millionaire) and euro-pop remix of "Hush Hush" (retitled "Hush Hush; Hush
Hush") which reached top 20 internationally. Following Scherzinger's
over-emphasis in the release of these two singles there several emotional
outbursts to the media including one by Thornton during one of the group's
appearances on tour. This led to media speculation about the future of the
Following repeated media speculation and growing tension within the group
their founder and manager Robin Antin broke her silence on August 2, 2009
on her official Twitter page to say that the group was not splitting up.
She explicitly said "The Pussycat Dolls r NOT breaking up.... & IF they
ever were, u would hear it from ME 1st, NOT GOSSIP...Album #3 on the way!"
Thorton further clarified the situation to MTV, "Right now the Pussycat
Dolls are on a break. It's actually a much-needed break. It's like when
you're with your sisters for 24 hours a day and you need to take your own
shower." Thornton said that the Dolls will eventually find their way back
to one another.
Since then Wyatt has been very vocal about the actual reality of the group
and gave a long series of interviews about the status of the dolls. In
October 2009 She told the Daily Star that her "role in group was a job at
the end of the day and that they all had individual lives to live". She
went on to explain that the group had been put together not bonded
naturally therefore she saw Scherzinger as a business associate rather
than a friend. The comments highlighted the group's position that the band
would continue regardless of who returned to the band or who was part of
it. It is also reaffirmed that the group all played a role in developing
the franchise and music. On October 12 she told the Daily Record that
Antin could bring in whoever she liked and the group would still continue
just like a broadway show that she is still part of the group. In December
Wyatt once again spoke about the group and what was currently happening to
entertainment website Digital Spy. She confirmed earlier reports that she
had been in the recording studios working on her own
Electronica-influenced debut solo album. Crucially she revealed that she
did not know what was currently happening with the group's third album as
she was not the driving force behind it. It was also mentioned that "fans
should expect new faces". She described her role in the group as
irreplaceable saying that "she will always be involved with the Pussycat
Dolls whether its helping with the choreography or the creative
direction." This amongst many other interviews and appearances by the
group separately led to rumors and media speculation that the group were
about to split up over the group's strained relationship with lead singer
Scherzinger. However Antin responded quickly with a statement to the press
and media stating that
“ The Pussycat Dolls are very much alive and there is no truth to the
silent treatment statements. Nicole and the Dolls have ALWAYS been close.
Nicole is and always has been a strong creative force within this group
and I cherish the way we collaborate. ”
Antin later appeared on the The Wendy Williams show to promote her new
fitness DVD. Williams took the opportunity to ask Antin about the rumours
surrounding the group's alleged break up. Antin responded by saying that
"The Pussycat Dolls have not broken up. In fact we're preparing to make
new music. She confirmed that Scherzinger was here to stay. However Antin
did state that she will be bringing in a few new faces and several of the
exisitng members will be leaving to pursue solo projects. She said "the
brand is about female empowerment. Inside every woman is a pussycat doll
waiting to get out. There are millions of women out there who wants to
know what it feels like. I want to bring in new faces."
In January 2010 the News of the World claimed that both Wyatt and Thorton
were to be "sacked from the group for clashing with Scherzinger" with the
possibility of more dolls following. Wyatt stated that she was unhappy
about Scherzinger's preferential treatment including arranging private
transport instead of joining the girls on the tour bus and requesting her
own dressing room whilst the rest of the girls shared one during their
recent tours. The final straw came when it was announced that changes were
being made to group, Wyatt revealed in response that she had spoken to
Thornton, Roberts and Sutta about a rival project to the Pussycat Dolls.
Although an official statement detailing the changes is not due until
Scherzinger's solo project is due. Wyatt stated that "(Me and the other
girls except Nicole) are looking at ways to keep working together. We all
want to. But when we do that we're not allowed to call ourselves the
Pussycat Dolls. Right now there is a lot of controversy. I haven't spoken
to Nicole about it. She's full speed ahead with her career."
Finally from January 29, 2010 the true fate of the group came to light. It
began with Jessica Sutta revealing to E!Online had been ousted from the
group following the broken rib she sustained whilst on tour with the
group. The news put her under financial strain and at one point she nearly
ended up homeless. Similar to Wyatt's earlier interviews Sutta spoke at
lenght about Scherzinger's preferential treatment. Whilst the group toured
with Britney Spears the other dolls had to undergo regular drugs tests but
Scherzinger was exempt. According to Sutta, Scherzinger has more
involvement than just singing lead vocals, she apparently controls the
amount of camera time each of the dolls receives in their music videos.
Sutta told In Style magazine that although being a doll was a joyful
experience even after seven years, she doesn't want to be just a glorfied
Less than a month later on February 26 Wyatt confirmed what was widely
expected: she was also leaving the group and officially revealed the news
in Loaded magazine. She left the group because she wasn't happy of her
position in the group stating: "I wish that it was different because I
love what we do on stage. I love being a Doll, but as far as variables
off-stage are concerned - I just couldn't do it anymore ... when I came
out on stage, I knew what my job was and I did it to the best of my
ability. I feel like I can relate to anybody in a corporate job - because
it's just a job, nothing more!" She satetd that her happiness no longer
rested with the group because she wanted more than money and fame. Just
one day later Ashley Roberts also announced her departure from the group
via her website. In a simple message she said "Yes, I have left the
Pussycat Dolls..I love you all sooo much!!! I am so grateful to have the
love and support of all of you. It was an amazing ride and I learned so
Reaffirming the group's position, on March 4 Scherzinger told MTV that her
position with the group is secure though it will consist of a new line-up
with hopes of releasing a new album near the end of 2010. She also stated
that she is in the studio recording music. But when asked about the nature
of the recordings she wasn't sure if they would be for her own album or
for the doll's third album but the latter will definately be released for
the fans. Speaking of the music she said "I don't know if I'm gonna put
the new music out under my name yet or if it's going to be perfect for the
Dolls, It doesn't matter. I just want to make great music for the fans".
Thus, the new Dolls album will have popular music but with more rock,
During 2006, the Pussycat Dolls performed live shows in North America
supporting the Black Eyed Peas. As headliners they toured the UK, Europe,
Philippines and Malaysia.The group has also performed in Singapore for the
On August 8, 2006, after a Dolls concert in Kuala Lumpur, their concert
promoter, Absolute Entertainment, was charged with flouting Malaysian
decency laws. The Malay Mail quoted Culture Arts and Heritage Minister
Datuk Mohamad Arif Abdul Rahman as saying: "I believe the way the Pussycat
Dolls behaved onstage amounted to gross indecency". The charge was settled
by paying a fine of RM5,000 (US$1,358).
From November 2006 – January 2007, the Pussycat Dolls embarked on their
PCD World Tour with Rihanna as the opening act. On February 4, 2007, the
Pussycat Dolls performed at the Manchester Evening News Arena in a concert
that was recorded and later streamed via MSN Music.
The Pussycat Dolls also toured North America as a support act for
Christina Aguilera's Back to Basics Tour, along with Danity Kane and NLT.
They also performed at the Cokelive Festival, In Bucharest, Romania and at
the UK leg of Live Earth in Wembley Stadium, London.
The Pussycat Dolls announced that in January 2009 they will embark on a
world tour in support of their Doll Domination album. In an interview with
Capital Radio, Ne-Yo revealed he will be touring with the group. Lady GaGa
and Queensberry also supported them on stage. The tour started January 18
at Aberdeen Exhibition Centre in Scotland. The group recently toured as
the opening act for the North American leg of Britney Spears' tour The
Circus: Starring Britney Spears.
From 2005–2007, Nicole Scherzinger prepared her debut solo album Her Name
Is Nicole, between July and December 2007 she released four solo singles.
Each of these failed to score on the U.S. charts, but "Baby Love" scored
well in Europe and Brazil. Scherzinger has also appeared as a guest
vocalist on other artists' recordings, some of which scored well (see
Nicole Scherzinger discography). However in April 2009 it was finally
confirmed that the project was cancelled and Scherzinger was negotiating
to give her solo album another attempt. She will be working with previous
collaborators Timbaland and Will.i.am as well as with new associates A.R.
Rahman and Lady Gaga. In December 2009 she served as a judge on the
reality competition show, "The Sing-Off," featuring a capella groups in
competition for a cash prize and a recording contract. She performed "You
Don't Own Me" in the series finale with competition finalists "The
During 2007, Melody Thornton appeared on rapper Jibbs third single "Go Too
Far". She is currently working on a number of different projects and
recently appeared as a cameo in the music video for Keri Hilson's 2009 US
radio single "Slow Dance". Thornton sings backing vocals for two songs on
producer Timbaland's second album Shock Value II.
Asia Nitollano won the reality TV show Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search
For the Next Doll. However in July 2007 that she left to pursue a solo
musical career having only appeared twice on stage with the group and
having to contributed to the recording of their second album.
Jessica Sutta has appeared on tracks from Paul van Dyk ("White Lies" 2007)
and Dave Audé ("Make It Last" 2007). "White Lies" reached #1 on
Billboard's Hot Dance Airplay chart in August 2007, becoming Paul van
Dyk's highest charting single. "Make It Last" reached number one on
Billboard magazine 's Hot Dance Club Play charts for September 22, 2007.
Sutta recently revealed that she is in the studio working on solo
material. On January 29, 2010 she confirmed that she had been ousted from
the group soon after the Doll Domination Tour had ended, primarily due to
a broken rib but also due to her feeling devalued and unhappy with
Scherzinger's preferential treatment. She is working on a solo album due
out sometime in 2010 according to an interview with E!Online.
Kimberly Wyatt appeared on the VH1 reality television show Celebracadabra
and during the group's 2009 hiatus she is running dance workshops in
London and judging Sky One's new UK dance competition Got to Dance. In
December 2009 it was revealed that she is prepping a solo album which is
influenced by Electronica. So far she has worked with rapper Paul Wall and
R&B producer/songwriter Baby Bash. She is currently negotiating a chance
to work with hip-hop music producer, rapper and previous collaborator of
the group, Missy Elliott.
Ashley Roberts had a supporting role in the dance drama film Make It
Happen which was released in 2008.
In April 2006, The New York Times reported that Interscope executives were
working to produce their own reality TV series, overseen by the producers
of America's Next Top Model and McG, the director of the Charlie's Angels
films. The show, entitled Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For the Next
Doll would search for a new member for the recording group. The new member
would sing on the next album and tour with the group. The show premiered
on The CW, on March 6, 2007. It premiered in Australia and the UK on April
1. The season finale announced the winner of the show to be Asia
Nitollano. It was announced in July that Asia Nitollano had "decided to
pursue a solo career" instead.
The second season of the show commenced broadcast on February 18, 2008,
titled Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious. Unlike the previous series
which tried to find a new member to join the Dolls, the second series
auditioned women to become part of a new three member all-female group,
Girlicious. However, on the show's finale, it was revealed that Girlicious
would be a quartet. The lineup was composed of Nichole Cordova, Tiffanie
Anderson, Chrystina Sayers, and Natalie Mejia. The group debuted just
after the show's finale, releasing their debut album and gaining attention
from mostly Canadian and Brazilian audiences with their hip-hop, urban
sound. However on June 2009, after a change of direction from urban to
pop, it was announced by Antin that Anderson left the group and that
Girlicious will continue as a trio. Members of the Pussycat Dolls
recording group appeared on both seasons of the Pussycat Dolls Present:
either as guest judge, performing songs, or in a video message shown to
the contestants each week.
In 2007, Interscope formed a London-based spin-off group called Paradiso
Girls through an open audition. The group's original lineup was composed
of lead singers Aria Cascaval and Lauren Bennett, rapper Shar Mae Amor and
DJ Kelly Beckett. Antin and Ron Fair selected Pussycat Dolls Present: The
Search For the Next Doll finalist Chelsea Korka to join as a third
vocalist, making it into the group's final lineup. The group has yet to
make an international debut whilst releasing their debut single and a yet
to be released debut album.
As of February 2008, as part of the promotion for the TV series, The CW
have sponsored Stardoll.com, a virtual paperdoll website, to include
images of the members of the PCD recording group for interactive
"Dress-Up" in PCD logo clothes. This site is aimed at girls aged seven to
seventeen. The CW confirmed that the series would not return for a third
season and has been canceled due to low ratings.
The Pussycat Dolls had re-recorded "Don't Cha" in Simlish for inclusion in
the computer game The Sims 2: Pets. They also appeared in character form
in the computer game Asphalt: Urban GT 2 in November 2006.
During 2006, Interscope engaged the California company BandMerch to
distribute a range of merchandise, including clothing and other items,
linked through the group's official website. In a merchandising agreement
with Interscope in 2006, toy manufacturer Hasbro had plans for a line of
dolls modelled after the Pussycat Dolls, and reportedly marketed at six to
nine-year-olds. The groups Dads and Daughters and Campaign for a
Commercial-Free Childhood successfully lobbied the company to scrap the
plan because they felt that the Pussycat Dolls would have been
inappropriate for children, due to the overtly sexual nature of the
Pussycat Dolls' songs, videos and live shows.
They also negotiated a deal with Estée Lauder for a Pussycat Dolls line of
cosmetics under the Stila brand. During 2008, It was reported that Antin
and the La Senza Corporation of Canada were producing a line of
Burlesque/Pussycat Dolls-styled lingerie called "Shhh...by Robin Antin".
In December 2009 PCD released Robin Antin's Pussycat Dolls Workout DVD
featuring dancers from the PCD Lounge Review (inclding Chrystina Sayers)
and featuring Nicole Sherzinger.
In 2006 the group ran into trouble in Kuala Lumpur with the authorities
for sexually explicit dancing. The performance, part of their PCD World
Tour, was not well-received in the Muslim state which frowned upon the
group's "eye-popping attire" and "sexually suggestive stage routines".
'Absolute Entertainment', the company behind the group's appearance in
Malaysia was fined $3000 for the incident.
Meanwhile Margeaux Watson of Entertainment Weekly took a major swipe at
the group for their overemphasis of Scherzinger as the lead singer. Watson
said "there are two types of girl groups: those anchored by a superstar
(e.g. Destiny's Child, The Supremes) or those made of charismatic
personalities (The Spice Girls). The Pussycat Dolls are neither." Other
criticism pointed out that "Scherzinger is no Beyoncé Knowles" and that
many people could not even name the other four dolls.