'Work Them to the Bone Until They're Passed Out': Nicole Scherzinger Says Pussycat Dolls' Schedule 'Didn't Allow Sleep'

Nicole Scherzinger is sharing new details about her “overwhelming experience” with the Pussycat Dolls

Published Time: 28.06.2024 - 19:31:05 Modified Time: 28.06.2024 - 19:31:05

Nicole Scherzinger is sharing new details about her “overwhelming experience” with the Pussycat Dolls.

The pop singer and Sunset Boulevard star, 45, opened up about her time with the multi-platinum-selling girl group — which rose to fame in the early 2000s with hits like “Don't Cha” and “Buttons” — in a recent interview with the Sunday Times, where she revealed just how demanding the gig was in their heyday.

“So the Dolls, it was a profoundly overwhelming experience, right?” Scherzinger noted. “I’m really proud of the music that the Dolls made, and I’m very proud of the little mark that we made with our group. But it was very difficult because I was really learning about myself along the way.” 

According to the Sunday Times, Scherzinger was recruited to join the Pussycat Dolls in 2003 by founder-choreographer Robin Antin after a successful run on talent show Popstars USA, where her former girl band Eden’s Crush was created.

However, her era-defining dance-pop troupe — comprised of Scherzinger, Kimberly Wyatt, Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts and Carmit Bachar — was a different beast all its own, as it reached global fame with the release of two albums — PCD and Doll Domination — and eight Top 40 singles.

In 2010, the group announced they were going their separate ways, as many, including Scherzinger, went on to launch solo careers. It was not until afterward that the pop star had a chance to reflect on that chapter of her life.

“It was such a difficult time,” Scherzinger recalled to the Sunday Times, “struggling and battling your own demons and issues and always being on the road, and they never allowed sleep in our schedule.”

The lead singer went on to say that her group's nonstop ripping and running was “a recipe for disaster” in those days, adding that she “always had sleeping issues.” 

“It’s a lot different now,” she continued. “They have rules set in place, and, you know, it’s more of a woke community now. But it wasn’t like that when we were doing it. It was just kind of like, ‘Work them to the bone until they’re passed out.’”

Looking back on other obstacles she endured during the Pussycat Dolls’ prime, Scherzinger revealed that she struggled with -

body dysmorphia, even more so with the group’s racy outfits and “spotlight” on her body.

“It was difficult for me in the beginning because I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin,” the “Stickwitu” singer admitted. However, she affirmed that she “didn’t feel exploited at all” with the Dolls “because I was in control of what I was doing.” 

“Maybe I didn’t love some of the clothes I was wearing, but I got to create a lot of the clothes and say, ‘No, I want to wear trousers,’” Scherzinger explained. “I wanted to look like Will.i.am and Gwen Stefani. So I got to wear clothes that I felt empowered in, and then the girls got to choose what they wanted too.”

The Pussycat Dolls reunited 10 years after disbanding to release their 2020 single “React” and embark on a new tour. But their road run was delayed due to the pandemic and ultimately canceled following a lawsuit between Scherzinger and founder Antin, in which the latter alleged that the “I Hate This Part” singer refused to participate in the group's reunion tour. According to the Sunday Times, Scherzinger is currently suing back.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE in 2021, Scherzinger's lawyer, Howard King, fired back at Antin's claims, calling them "ludicrous and false.” The attorney also alleged that they "are a desperate attempt to divert blame for her own failures by trying to impose obligations on Nicole that simply do not exist."

Following the legal drama, Scherzinger told PEOPLE in 2023 that she actually looks back quite fondly on what she was able to accomplish with her girl group.

"I always used to be made to feel like . . . I don’t know, not ashamed, but . . . I’m very proud that the albums are my music,” she shared of providing the majority of the vocals on the group’s albums. “I put the work in after all these years, and that's OK that I have the credit because everybody has their own strengths. And this is what I bring to the table.”

"Those were world-class pop records that had many No. 1s around the world,” she added. “And I love my girls, and I’ll always have love for them — I only wish them the best."

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