Nicole Elikolani Prescovia Scherzinger was born on June 29, 1978, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is of Hawaiian, Filipina and Russian descent, and comes from a large family of entertainers -- her mother, Rosemary, was a professional hula dancer and her grandmother was a respected Mariachi singer.
When Nicole Scherzinger was just 6 years old, her military father was transferred to Louisville, Kentucky, where she began attending performing arts schools, pursuing an education that would persist throughout her adolescence. As a teenager, she was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky State Fair's Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest, and she appeared in several plays at Louisville's Actors Theater.
Nicole Scherzinger attended Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, where she majored in theater and minored in dance. After appearing in every play put on by the school's theater troupe, Nicole realized that she wanted to spend the rest of her life working as a performer. She made money on the side by working as a model and appearing in several local ad campaigns.
It was during her time at Wright State that Nicole Scherzinger was contacted by Travis Meeks, the lead singer of Louisville-based band Days of the New. Meeks wanted her to perform on a few songs with the group, and she agreed -- a decision that forced her to drop out of school for a short period. After recording several demos with Meeks, Nicole returned to Wright State, but it wasn't long before she was asked to record an entire album's worth of material and go on tour.
Nicole Scherzinger's stint with Days of the New didn't last too long. In 2000, she went back home and began working on her own songs and demos. It was around that time that she learned of Popstars, a television show on the WB network in which aspiring singers competed to be named members of a new group. Nicole Scherzinger was chosen and the group, Eden's Crush, became an instant success. Their 2001 debut hit high on the charts (thanks mostly to the infectious, "Get Over Yourself") and the resulting tour paired the group with such acts as Jessica Simpson and 'N Sync.
Eden's Crush stayed together for about a year, and Nicole Scherzinger began to focus on her solo career and tried her hand at acting (appearing in the 2003 movies Love Don't Cost a Thing and Chasing Papi). In 2003, a friend told Nicole about a casting call for a new group called the Pussycat Dolls, and even though she missed the auditions, she was allowed to drop by and perform for the executives in charge. They were so impressed with Nicole Scherzinger's stage presence and vocals that they opened discussions with her immediately about joining the group as lead singer, and soon reached an agreement.
After a series of performances on shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel Live, Nicole and the Pussycat Dolls began work on their debut album. PCD was released in September 2005 to critical and financial acclaim. A number of singles hit Billboard's top 5, and the album has since sold more than six million copies worldwide. It was around this time that Nicole began working on her first solo album.
A number of big-name producers collaborated with Nicole Scherzinger on her solo album, most notably Timbaland and will.i.am. The official album name was announced as Her Name is Nicole, and the first single was "Whatever U Like." Shortly after this single's release, however, "Baby Love" replaced "Whatever U Like" as the official lead single.