The Pussycat Dolls (formed 1995)
The Pussycat Dolls originally started out as a burlesque troupe but was later re-cast as a pop group. In this new guise, the group has enjoyed large-scale success across the globe.
The Pussycat Dolls: Formation
In 1995, the Pussycat Dolls made their first public performance. At this time, they were a modern burlesque troupe, formed by the choreographer Robin Antin, along with her friend Christina Applegate. They performed a number of 1950s and '60s pop songs, dressed in vintage-style pin-up costumes and lingerie. Between 1995 and 2001, the group maintained a residency at The Viper Room, the Los Angeles club formerly owned by Johnny Depp (and also the location of River Phoenix's death).
In 1999, the group appeared in a Playboy picture feature. Moving to The Roxy, the group became infamous around the world and were the subject of MTV specials, VH1 programmes, as well as films and advertising campaigns. They appeared in the promotional video for Pink's song 'Trouble', as well as featuring in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
In 2002, the group was featured in a Maxim photo shoot. Carmen Electra (the group's main performer for many shows) and Christina Aguilera were featured in the shoot. The public interest that followed the publication of the shoot led record producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron fair to become involved with them. The group was re-cast as a pop group and were signed to Interscope Records, owned by Jimmy Iovine. The only original group members left after the re-cast were Kasey Campbell, Ashley Roberts, Cyia Batten, Carmit Bachar, Kimberley Wyatt and Jessica Sutta. Not all of these members remained in the group. Carmen Electra went on to form a new burlesque troupe, called The Bombshell Babies which featured ex-Pussycat Dolls, Staci Flood, Kasey Campbell and Nadine Ellis.
The Pussycat Dolls: Musical Career
In 2003, with a line-up of Nicole Scherzinger, Carmit Bachar, Kimberley Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, Melody Thornton, Kaya Jones and Jessica Sutta, the band was launched as a pop act, with PCD branded costumes, hit producers working for them and guest rappers on board. In September 2005, their debut album, PCD was released. 'Don't Cha' was the lead single and was an international hit. The tracks 'Stickwitu', 'Beep' (featuring will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas) and 'Buttons' (featuring Snoop Dogg) were also released as singles. The last single from the album, 'Wait A Minute' was produced by Timbaland.
In March 2008, Carmit Bachar left The Pussycat Dolls. Her vocals are now shared by Kimberley Wyatt and Ashley Roberts.
In May 2008, the band released 'When I Grow Up', the debut single from their second album. They first performed the song live on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The second album was entitled Doll Domination and was produced by Timbaland, Dr Dre, New Kids On The Block and Taio Cruz, amongst others. The second single from the album was 'I Hate This Part'.
In 2008, The Pussycat Dolls were confirmed as one of the acts booked for the Royal Variety Performance 2008, which is a major British cultural event, attended by members of the Royal family.
The Pussycat Dolls: Side Projects
Nicole Sherzinger has released four solo singles. 'Baby Love' was particularly popular in Europe and Brazil. Her solo album Her Name Is Nicole is waiting for a release date.
Melody Thornton appeared on 'Go Too Far' by the rapper Jibbs.
Ashley Roberts appeared in the film Make It Happen, in 2008.
Jessica Sutta was featured in a successful dance track by Paul Van Dyk.
The Pussycat Dolls have been the subject of two reality TV shows. The first, Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll was unsuccessful in finding a new member for the band. The second series, Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious auditioned women in order to form a new group, named Girlicious.
The band have released a line of Pussycat Dolls make up under Estée Lauder's Stila brand. Antin also worked alongside LaSenza to release a line of Pussycat Dolls-style lingerie called 'Shhh. by Robin Antin'.