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Pussycat Dolls

The Pussycat Dolls (sometimes abbreviated as PCD) are an American pop girl group and dance ensemble founded by choreographer Robin Antin. The group originated in 1995 as a burlesque troupe based in Los Angeles, California. After attracting national attention, Antin eventually negotiated a record deal with Interscope Records in 2003, and the troupe was re-cast as a music group, comprising lead singer Nicole Scherzinger alongside Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt and Carmit Bachar, who left the group in early 2008.. Subsequently the group also diversified into reality television programs; a Las Vegas act, venue, and casino; merchandising; and other ventures overseen by Antin, Interscope, and their partners.

The Pussycat Dolls achieved worldwide success in 2005 with their album PCD, which debuted at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart and produced the hits "Don't Cha", "Buttons", and "Stickwitu", the last of which earned the group a Grammy Award nomination.

Following the departure of Carmit Bachar in March 2008, the group continued as a quintet and in 2008 released their second studio album, Doll Domination, which included the hits "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[1] and for the over-emphasis on lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, who sings nearly all of the group's lead and background vocals.[2][3]

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History

Burlesque troupe: 1995-2003

Robin Antin began exploring the idea of a modern burlesque troupe in 1990 with her friend Christina Applegate.[4][5] The dance troupe's first performance was in 1995. During this period, they performed with numerous guest vocalists, with a repertoire of 1950s and 1960s pop standards while dressed in lingerie or old-fashioned pin-up costumes. They secured a Thursday night residency at Los Angeles nightclub The Viper Room, where they stayed from 1995 to 2001. The troupe received wider press coverage in June 1999, when Playboy ran a Pussycat Dolls pictorial, featuring at least seven contemporary members. 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 shoot in 2002,[6] which increased public interest in them.

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Following this wider popularity, and with the involvement of music producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair, the Pussycat Dolls were re-cast, transformed into a pop recording group, and became employees of Iovine's label Interscope Records. The only troupe members who remained after the re-casting process were Carmit Bachar, Cyia Batten, Kasey Campbell, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt. The main vocalists of the current recording group, lead singer Nicole Scherzinger and soprano Melody Thornton, were cast later in 2003 to complete the transition into a pop group. Electra, when asked about her lack of involvement with the group's evolution into a pop 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."[7] She later made a cameo appearance in the music video for "Don't Cha". In late 2003, Electra formed another burlesque troupe called The Bombshell Babies, which included ex-Dolls Staci Flood and Nadine Ellis, and later adding ex-Doll Kasey Campbell.

Lounge act: 2005–present

 

In parallel with Pussycat Dolls as a recording act, in 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 in 1995. At least one early member of the L.A. dance troupe, Rachel Sterling, made the move to the Las Vegas show.[8] The cast includes vocalist Jamie Preston,[9] Hayley,[9] Amanda Nowak,[9] Colby,[10] and Alicia[9] Former dolls include Mallory,[11] Jen,[11] Loreli,[11] Victoria,[11] Rosa,[11] Marcea,[11] Rita,[11] Jessica Lea,[12] Rachel Sterling,[12] Laura Diane,[12] Laurel,[9], Cindy,[9] Ashley Gates,[9] Bridgy,[10] and Jamie Ruiz from Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious[10] among others. The venue is operated by Pure Management Group. Robin Antin has some involvement, but it is unclear whether Interscope also has a financial interest. The Pussycat Dolls recording group have made occasional appearances. In February 2007, Caesars Palace opened the Pussycat Dolls Casino across from 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".[13] The shows feature former reality series alums Chelsea Korka and Jamie Ruiz.

Recording group

2005-2007: PCD

In 2003, Nicole Scherzinger, a former member of Popstars winners Eden's Crush, became the group's lead singer. In the same year, soprano vocalist Melody Thornton was also recruited in order to add vocal strength to the group. The Pussycat Dolls' musical line-up consisted of Scherzinger, Thornton, Carmit Bachar, Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kaya Jones (Kaya later left the group after recording and appearing in the "Sway" music video). By the time the recording group was launched, their stage costumes were developed to bear various branding and "PCD" logos, which preceded the sales of a branded clothing range and other merchandise (via websites and at performances). Their repertoire was expanded to include new Pop/R&B songs, with hit producers and guest rappers, while still retaining some of the pop standards from their earlier incarnation. They appeared in two soundtracks in 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.

On September 13, 2005, they released their debut album, PCD, debuting at number five on the Billboard 200.[14] Their first single, "Don't Cha" was a hit, reaching number one in multiple countries including UK, Australia and Canada and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.[14] The song was originally a cover of the Tori Alamaze single featuring rapper Busta Rhymes. The group won a Billboard Music Award for "Don't Cha" (Ralphi Rosario mix) as Hot Dance Music/Club Play Single of the Year.

The album spawned six more singles. The ballad "Stickwitu" was another top five in the U.S.,[14] selling over three million digital downloads and CDs worldwide.  The song was the group's second UK number 1 hit.[15] It was later nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group. Their third single, "Beep", which featured rapper will.i.am, did not perform as successfully as the previous two singles but still went to number one internationally.[16] A subsequent single, "Buttons" (with rapper Snoop Dogg) reached number three on the UK Singles Chart;[16] the next single, "I Don't Need a Man" was not as successful, although it reached the top 10 in Australia,[17] Ireland,[17] New Zealand[17] and UK.[17] The group's sixth single from the album was "Wait a Minute" featuring Timbaland released in the U.S. in August 2006, becoming a top 40 hit worldwide.[14]

In 2006, San Francisco-based company Doppelganger (along with Interscope Records) launched the PCD Music Lounge, an interactive website. In late 2006, the Pussycat Dolls were also featured in a commercial for Cingular Wireless along with Ludacris and Korn. The group was selected to perform for the introduction for ABC's coverage of the NBA.[18] In 2007, a version of "Right Now" was used as a theme song for the NBA, though the lyrics had been altered.

An official megamix of all the singles from PCD has been released.[19]

On March 8, 2008, Carmit Bachar left the group, confirming the news by posting a blog on the group's official website.[20] The Pussycat Dolls are said to be continuing as a five-piece. They performed for US troops in Kuwait for Operation Myspace.[21] They sang all of their singles. In the absence of Bachar, her vocal parts are now performed mostly by Jessica Sutta.

2008-present: Doll Domination

The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200, with 79,000 copies sold in its first week, one notch higher than their first album PCD, which debuted and peaked at number five, and sold 99,000 copies in its first-week sales, despite the fact that Alex Vitoulis, ACPM of the magazine, stated he was greatly disappointed by the overall quality of the record. In its second week, the album dropped to number 17, and in its third week, it sat at number 30. It spent an astonishingly short seven weeks in the top 100, compared with their debut album which spent almost a year there, but in the week of January 10 2009, it re-entered the top 100 at number one hundred.

Single releases

After a brief break (during which Scherzinger released solo singles, and The Dolls launched their reality TV series) the group returned to the Music scene on May 27, 2008 with the new single "When I Grow Up" - the first release from their second album, with Timbaland serving as executive producer of the album.[22] The song was performed live for the first time on May 20, on Jimmy Kimmel Live![23][24] and again at the MTV Movie Awards on June 1.[25] They also performed the song at the first results show of the 2008 season of So You Think You Can Dance. The song charted in the top 40 in most countries. The song charted at number nine on the U.S.Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. The song charted at number six on the European Singles Chart. The video for this single won the Dolls a Video Music Award for Best Dancing in a Video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards.

The album spawned has so far spawned 3 other singles:

  • "Whatcha Think About That" (featuring Missy Elliott), was released in September and proved unsuccessful in the US. However the video was edited to feature the "Dark Child Remix" (a.k.a. Urban Club Edit) of the song and it received heavy airplay in Ireland, France and the UK where it reached its highest peak of 9.
  • "I Hate This Part" was released from October 2008, reaching number one in Romania, number two in Belgium, number three in France, the top five in Canada, the top ten in Australia, Turkey, New Zealand, Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland, and the top twenty in Denmark, Japan, Germany, Norway, Brazil, the United States and the United Kingdom. It peaked at number eleven in the US and made it to number four on the European Hot 100.
  • "Bottle Pop" charted early on before its official release. The single release does not feature Snoop Dogg like the album version but managed to peak at 17 both in New Zealand and Australia. It received a limited release with very little promotion.

The re-release of the album and the mini collection have also spawned two singles:

  • "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" which is the English recording of "Jai Ho" the hit movie theme from the film Slumdog Millionaire. It features A.R. Rahman. It is the first single from both re-issue versions of the album. The single has so far reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100,[26] number 20 on the Billboard Pop 100,[27] number 5 in Canada, number 6 in Australia,[28] number 1 in Ireland and number 3 in the UK[29].
  • "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" will be released as the next worldwide single. It will be digitally available on May 12, 2009. It is an Up-tempo Remix of "Hush Hush" which was included on the original release. Both versions will be released with the former serving as the a-side. [30]

Promotion

They performed their hit singles "Buttons" and "When I Grow Up" at the MTV Asia Awards 2008 in Genting Highlands, Malaysia and performed in Singapore for Singfest 2008, as part of a line-up of international music acts. They performed the singles "Buttons", "Don't Cha", and "When I Grow Up", including a special solo dance segment "Show Me What You Got".

The Pussycat Dolls appeared on the Royal Variety Performance 2008, at the London Palladium on December 11. The Royal Variety Performance is a gala event held annually at a major British theatre, to raise money for the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund. The show is performed in the presence of senior members of the Royal family and it is considered a great honor to be invited to take part.[31]

Other promotions include hosting the 2008 Maxim Hot 100 on VH1 on the position number seventeen.[32]

Doll Domination: The Mini Collection

Through Capital radio it was announced that the dolls will exclusively release The Mini Album[33] in UK on 27 April 2009. The album will contain all of their UK singles from Doll Domination so far including new single "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" as well as new songs "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" and "Painted Windows". Its release was also confirmed by retailer Play.com.[34] "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" was the first released and on May 12, 2009 "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" will be released as the second single.[35]

Doll Domination 2.0

Scherzinger confirmed to Billboard Magazine that The Dolls would be re-releasing their current album as Doll Domination 2.0 to give people the chance to get a new spin of their music [36]. In preparation for the release The Dolls recorded the following new songs: "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)", "Top of the World" and "Painted Windows". In addition to theses "Hush Hush" was remixed into an up-tempo version (now titled "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" it was first performed by Scherzinger on the World Domination Tour) and "Takin' Over the World" (We Love To Entertain You mix). The re-release will feature songs from the original album plus some of the new songs although this will vary region by region.

The German Edition of the album was released on April 24, 2009 [37]. It features the majority of the tracks from the original release but also features "Top of the World", "Painted Windows", "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" and "Takin' Over the World ('We Love To Entertain You' mix) bringing the total track list to 20 songs.

The Australian Edition features a stream-line track listing of just 10 songs, 6 from the orginal Doll Domination plus "Painted Windows", "Jai Ho!", "Top of the World" and "Hush Hush; Hush Hush". It was also released on April 24, 2009. [38]

An International version will feature "Hush Hush" (up-tempo remix), "Painted Windows", "Jai Ho!" and "Top of the World" plus all of the songs from Doll Domination except for "Who's Gonna Love You".[39]

"Top of the World" was released on iTunes in North America in February 2009 as a promotional single, it was released to radio and iTunes only without an official video or any promotion. "Jai Ho!" was the first world-wide release from the album. "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" is the next world-wide single scheduled for release on May 12, 2009 featuring lead vocals from Scherzinger.[40]

Solo careers

  • 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.[41] These singles currently make hers the most successful 'solo' work of any of the Pussycat Dolls, next to Scherzinger's appearance on Diddy's hit single "Come to Me".
  • 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 make any impact on the U.S. charts, but "Baby Love" charted well in Europe and Brazil. Scherzinger has also appeared as a guest vocalist on other artists' recordings, some of which charted well (see Nicole Scherzinger discography). However in April 2009 it was finally confirmed that the project was shelved and Scherzinger was in negotiations to give her solo album another go. She will be working with previous collaborators Timbaland and Will.i.am as well as with new associates A.R. Rahman and Lady Gaga.[42]
  • In 2007, Melody Thornton appeared on rapper Jibbs third single "Go Too Far". She told Billboard magazine that she hoped that the group will provide all of the dolls with platforms to do other things.
  • Ashley Roberts had a supporting role in the dance drama film Make It Happen which was released in 2008.
  • Kimberly Wyatt appeared on the VH1 reality television show Celebracadabra
  • On March 28, 2008, Carmit Bachar talked to E! about her solo album planned for release in Fall of 2009. Since leaving the dolls she has continued her activities with the live cabaret show The Zodiac Show.

Touring

In 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 annual Singfest.

On the date 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 RM5000 (US$1358).[43]

From November 2006 - January 2007, the Pussycat Dolls embarked on their PCD World Tour with Rihanna as the opening act.[44] 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.[45] They also performed at the Cokelive Festival, In Bucharest, Romania and at the UK leg of Live Earth in Wembley Stadium, London.[46]

The Pussycat Dolls announced that in January 2009 they will embark on a world tour in support of their album.[47][48] In an interview with Capital Radio,[49] 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, UK.

The group recently toured as the opening act for the North American leg of Britney Spears' tour The Circus: Starring Britney Spears.[50]

Other endeavours

Television series and spin-off groups

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.[51] 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. Antin and Ron Fair selected finalist Chelsea Korka to join a London-based spin-off group called The Paradiso Girls.

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 shows finale, it was revealed that Girlicious would be a quartet.[52][53]

Members of the recording group appeared on both seasons of the Pussycat Dolls Present: in a video message shown to the contestants each week.

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.[54]

The CW confirmed that the series would not return for a third season and has been canceled due to low ratings.

Computer games

The Pussycat Dolls had re-recorded "Don't Cha" in Simlish for inclusion in the computer game The Sims 2: Pets.[55] They also appeared in character form in the computer game Asphalt: Urban GT 2 in November 2006.

IGN have reported rumours of a Pussycat Dolls video game for the computer, which involves the player taking control of their chosen Doll and guiding them through love, life and dating in an RPG reminiscent of the The Sims.

The Pussycat Dolls also have a relationship with vSide, an online 3D virtual world. The Dolls have their own avatars, usually located in their own "VIP Room" and have also logged in at various times for special events and live streaming events.

Merchandise

In 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 aimed 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.[56]

They also negotiated a deal with Estée Lauder for a Pussycat Dolls line of cosmetics under the Stila brand.[57]

In 2009, vanHaren shoes launched a "Pussycat Dolls Star Collection" in the Netherlands.[58]

In 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".[59][60]

Former members

Burlesque group

  • Robin Antin (founder, original member, and choreographer, 1993-2005)
  • Christina Applegate (original member and co-founder to Antin, 1993-2002) (promoted the group's appearances for Maxim)
  • Linh Le (original member and co-founder to Antin, 1993-?)
  • Carmit Bachar (original member, 1995-2003) (able to make it on the music group)
  • Cyia Batten (original member, 1995-2003) (able to make it on the music group)
  • Kasey Campbell (original member, 1995-2003) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial) (able to make it on the music group)
  • Kiva Dawson (original member, 1995-2001) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial)
  • Lindsley Allen (original member, 1995-2001) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial)
  • Erica Gudis (original member, 1995-2001) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial)
  • Antonietta Macri (original member, 1995-2001) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial)
  • Erica Breckels (Original member, 1995-2001) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial)
  • Katie Bergold (original member, 1995-2001) (featured in June 1999 Playboy pictorial)
  • Staci Flood (original member, 1995-2003) (rumored to have made it on the music group but refused to join after founding the "Bombshell Babies" with Carmen Electra and Nadine Ellis)
  • Carmen Electra (2001-2003) (lead vocalist in most performances during late burlesque period) (vocals in the Dolls' early recorded versions of "Fever" [4] and "Hey Big Spender" [5])
  • Christina Aguilera (2002) (promoted the group's appearances for Maxim)
  • Nadine Ellis (until 2003)
  • Andre Carra
  • Erika Le
  • Rachel Sterling
  • Chelsea Rafanan
  • Rebecca Pickering

Recording group

  • Robin Antin (2003-2005)
  • Carmit Bachar (2003-2008) (also in Burlesque period) (left for a solo career)
  • Cyia Batten (2003-2005) (also in Burlesque period) (appears in "Sway" music video)
  • Kasey Campbell (2003-2005) (also in Burlesque period) (appears in "Sway" music video)
  • Kaya Jones [6] (2003-2004) (joined along with Nicole and Melody) (vocals in "We Went as Far as We Felt Like Going" & "Sway" on PCD.) (appears in "Sway" music video as a main member with Melody and Carmit) (left before PCD album was launched)
  • Staci Flood (2003) (also in Burlesque period) (cameos in "Dont' Cha" music video as the black-haired seventh member dancing with the Dolls)
  • Asia Nitollano (2007) (performed twice with the Dolls on the Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search For the Next Doll Finale and The CW 2007 Upfront Party) (left for a solo career before making any recordings)

Tours

  • 2007: PCD World Tour
  • 2009: World Domination Tour

Opening act

  • 2006: Various Artists: Honda Civic Tour
  • 2007: Christina Aguilera: Back To Basics Tour (North America Only)
  • 2009: Britney Spears: The Circus Starring: Britney Spears (North American Only)

References and Notes

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Comments

"when i grow up" is an amazing song

i love th pcd thay are amazing xxxxx

Hey my names kahli : )   I Absolutely Love the pussycat dolls they are like my favourite band!!!!!!!! I love there song and there dance move : D xoxox

nicole is sooo sexy



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