The Pussycat Dolls
|Also known as||PCD, The Dolls|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Years active|| 1995-2003 (burlesque troupe)
2003present (recording group)
|Label(s)||Polydor, A&M, Interscope|
|Eden's Crush, Girlicious, Paradiso Girls, Robin Antin|
| Ashley Roberts (2001 - present)
Kimberly Wyatt (2001 - present)
Jessica Sutta (2002 - present)
Nicole Scherzinger (2003 - present)
Melody Thornton (2003 - present)
| Carmit Bachar (1995 - 2008)
Asia Nitollano (2007)
The Pussycat Dolls (sometimes abbreviated as PCD) are an American pop girl group and dance ensemble founded by choreographer Robin Antin. The group originated during 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 became a music group, comprising lead singer Nicole Scherzinger alongside Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts, Kimberly Wyatt and Carmit Bachar. Subsequently the group also diversified into reality television programs, a Las Vegas act, 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 successful singles "Don't Cha", "Buttons", and "Stickwitu"; a song that earned the group a Grammy Award nomination. Following the departure of Carmit Bachar in March 2008, the group continued as a quintet and during 2008 released their second studio album, Doll Domination, which included the successes "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 and for the over-emphasis on lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, who is made to sing nearly all of the group's lead and background vocals.
Burlesque troupe: 1995-2003
Robin 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 shoot in 2002, which increased public interest in them.
Following this wider popularity, and with the involvement of music producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair, the Pussycat Dolls were transformed into a franchise and 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 Robin Antin, Carmit Bachar, Cyia Batten, Kasey Campbell, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta and Kimberly Wyatt. Later in 2003, Nicole Scherzinger, Kaya Jones and Melody Thornton were cast as vocalists through an audition to complete the transition into a music group.
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." During 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: 2005present
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, Amanda Nowak, Colby, and Alicia Former dolls include Mallory, Jen, Loreli, Victoria, Rosa, Marcea, Rita, Jessica Lea, Rachel Sterling, Laura Diane, Laurel, Cindy, Ashley Gates, Bridgy, and Jamie Ruiz from Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious among others.
The venue is operated by Pure Management Group. Robin Antin has some involvement, but it is unclear whether Interscope also has financial interest. The Pussycat Dolls recording group had also made occasional appearances on lounge shows. 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".
Recording group and musical franchise
2003-2005: Casting and musical debut
During 2003, Nicole Scherzinger, a former member of Popstars winners Eden's Crush, became the recording group's lead singer. In the same year, soprano vocalist Melody Thornton and singer-model Kaya 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, Robin Antin, Carmit Bachar, Cyia Batten, Kasey Campbell, Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, and Jessica 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. The group also provided additional vocals to Cee-Lo Green's song "Disco Bitch" which featured them with singer-producer Jazze Pha on Cee Lo's previously shelved 2004 album "Happy Hour".
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 Queen Doll Nicole Scherzinger, Baby Doll Melody Thornton, Foxy Doll Carmit Bachar, Pin-up Doll Jessica Sutta, Angel Doll Ashley Roberts, and Flexy Doll Kimberly Wyatt. The group's lineup saw Scherzinger as lead singer, Thornton as melismatic soprano singer, Bachar as alto singer, and Sutta, Roberts, and Wyatt as contributing singers and dancers.
2005-2007: PCD and commercial success
- Main article: PCD (album)
On September 13, 2005, they released their debut album, PCD, debuting 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 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 produced six more singles. The ballad "Stickwitu" was another top five in the U.S., selling over three million digital downloads and CDs worldwide. The song was the group's second UK number 1 success. 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 scored number one internationally. A subsequent single, "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 U.S. in August 2006, becoming a top 40 success worldwide. An official megamix of all the singles from PCD had also been released.
During 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. During 2007, a version of "Right Now" was used as a theme song for the NBA, though the lyrics had been altered.
2007-2008: Lineup changes and brief break
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. It was later announced in July 2007 that she left to "pursue a solo musical career". As of 2009 she has released no recordings.
From 2006 until late 2008 Scherzinger had been working on her debut album which was to be titled Her Name Is Nicole. While the Pussycat Dolls were on break, Scherzinger 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 later into 2009 before being shelved. Some of the songs which had been recorded for Scherzinger's album appeared on the Dolls' second album.
On March 8, 2008, another member, Carmit Bachar, left the group to pursue a solo career. She announced her decision on a weblog on the group's official website. The group performed for the first time after their break and as a quintet for US troops in Kuwait for Operation Myspace.
2008-2009: Doll Domination, tension and rumors
- Main article: Doll Domination
After a brief break the group returned to the Music scene on May 27, 2008 with the new single "When I Grow Up". The song was performed live for the first time on May 20, on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and again at the MTV Movie Awards on June 1. The song scored 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, and number 2 in the UK.
The group later released their urban popthemed second single "Whatcha Think About That" featuring guest vocals from rapper Missy Elliott. The song has peaked at #66 on the Canadian Hot 100, but failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching #8 on the Bubbling Under chart.
After several release pushbacks and two singles already released, the album entitled Doll Domination was released in September 19, 2008. It 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. In its second week, the album dropped to number 17, and in its third week, it sat at number 30. It spent a 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. The album was later repackaged to include a bonus Deluxe Edition disc containing solo songs performed by each member of the group.
The album spawned two other singles, the worldwide top-20 hit "I Hate This Part" and the number-one club song "Bottle Pop". As the album began gaining recognition throughout the United States and Europe the Dolls began their World Domination Tour in Aberdeen, Scotland on January 18, 2009.
Scherzinger confirmed to Billboard magazine that the Dolls would be re-releasing their current album to "give people the chance to get a new spin" of their music. In Europe the album was repackaged to include all of the original songs plus 3-4 of the new recordings. In Australia a compilation called Doll Domination 2.0 was released with 6 songs from the original version plus four new songs. The Dolls went on to release Doll Domination: The Mini Collection exclusively in the UK on April 27, 2009. It is a compilation of songs from the revised edition of the original album. The last repackaged version of the album entitled Doll Domination 3.0 was released in the UK following the success of all of the five singles, which managed to reach the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart, making it one of the group's most successful markets.
The re-released version spawned two more singles; the worldwide number 1 "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)", and Euro-influenced top 20 international hit "Hush Hush; Hush Hush".
After two months on the road they later returned to the United States to participate as the opening act for Britney Spears' The Circus: Starring Britney Spears Tour. On May 5, Girlicious opened the last "Circus" show in Canada instead of the Dolls. Then, after filming the video for their single "Hush Hush; Hush Hush", the Pussycat Dolls proceeded with their European/Australian tour on May 16, 2009.
The emphasis on Nicole Scherzinger as the featured artist caused controversy, as "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" and "Hush Hush; Hush Hush" (initially during its promotional release) emphasized her as a featured singer. It sparked rumors that Nicole Scherzinger was leaving the group to continue her solo career, despite well below average sales for the singles from her 2007 shelved solo album release Her Name Is Nicole. This also led to strife within the group as the other members were unhappy with the emphasis on Scherzinger. The tension became higher when rumors sparked claiming that the group would just finish their world tour and will disband thereafter. Members of the group gave their opinions but had not made any confirmation regarding the issue.
On August 2, 2009, the rumor was put to an end when founder Robin Antin finally made an announcement on her own twitter page saying: "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!" 
2009-Present: hiatus & New Pussycat Dolls
On September 24, 2009 it was confirmed that the group would be taking a break. During an interview with MTV, Thornton stated "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.
On October 12, 2009 Kimberly Wyatt gave fans a clear view of what the Pussycat Dolls as a franchise really was. Wyatt claimed that the Pussycat Dolls was built like a broadway show and that Robin Antin, who founded the group, brings in new members and the group will continue even if some people leave. She also affirmed to reports that the group is currently on break and that she cannot say whether she is still a member of the band, further creating uncertainty over the future of the group.
On October 29, 2009 Wyatt also did an interview with Chris Younie on The Hits Radio, and officially confirmed all the rumors and official status of the group. Wyatt stated that "there are ZERO plans for a next album". She also stated that the Pussycat Dolls as brand will never die out, because there will always be "Pussycat Dolls" just different girls. She was quoted saying "Here's the thing. I think the Pussycat Dolls was always created as a brand, and it will always be that way. No matter what happens, the Pussycat Dolls will always be around." When asked if she would be in the "new Pussycat Dolls", Wyatt quickly shot down the idea and stated that she, and the others dolls, are all doing there own things now. 
- 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.
- 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.
- During 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 and during the group's 2009 hiatus she is running dance workshops in London, UK as well as recording solo material for a future solo album.
Tours and concerts
- Main article: PCD World Tour
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 annual Singfest.
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.
Other franchise expansions
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
According to her Twitter, Antin will soon release a work out DVD featuring girls from the PCD Lounge Review (whose pictures she posted as well as Chrystina Sayers and Nicole Sherzinger. It is set to be Released worldwide December 15, 2009.
- Main article: List of Pussycat Dolls awards and nominations
- Main article: Pussycat Dolls discography
- 2005: PCD
- 2008: Doll Domination
- 2006-2007: PCD World Tour
- 2009: World Domination Tour
- 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)
- List of best selling female R&B groups
- Girl group
- Paradiso Girls
- Robin Antin
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pussycat Dolls
Ashley Roberts Jessica Sutta Nicole Scherzinger Melody Thornton Kimberly Wyatt|
Carmit Bachar Asia Nitollano
|Albums||PCD Doll Domination|
|Singles||"Don't Cha" "Stickwitu" "Beep" "Buttons" "I Don't Need a Man" "Wait a Minute" "When I Grow Up" "Whatcha Think About That" "I Hate This Part" "Bottle Pop"|
|Promotional singles||"Sway" "Right Now" "Hush Hush" "Top of the World"|
|Tours||PCD World Tour Back To Basics Tour (opening act) World Domination Tour The Circus Starring: Britney Spears (opening act)|
|Related topics||Discography Awards and Nominations Pussycat Dolls Present: Live from London Girlicious Robin Antin|
|Albums||Her Name Is Nicole|
|Singles||"Whatever U Like" • "Baby Love" • "Supervillain" • "Puakenikeni" • "Rio (Remix)"|
|Featured singles||"Lie About Us" • "You Are My Miracle" • "Come to Me" • "Scream"|
|Related articles||Discography • Pussycat Dolls • Eden's Crush • Days of the New|