THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS
The Pussycat Dolls is an American female pop singing group. The Dolls began as a burlesque dance troupe based in Los Angeles, and expanded to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The group, which was founded by choreographer Robin Antin in 1995, released its first single in 2004.
1993-2003: Dance Troupe Beginnings
Some sources claim that Antin first began casting her burlesque troupe in 1993; their first performance was in 1995. During this period the troupe performed with numerous guest vocalists (see list below), with a repertoire of '50s and '60s pop standards, performed in lingerie and/or old-fashioned pin-up costumes. Antin reportedly drew inspiration from the choreography of Bob Fosse (Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Chicago).
They secured a Thursday night residency at Los Angeles nightclub The Viper Room, where they stayed from 1995-2001. In 2002 they moved to The Roxy. The group became internationally popular and was featured in magazines, television specials for MTV and VH1, ad campaigns, and movies. Carmen Electra was the group's lead performer for many of these appearances, and she has been featured most frequently of all the celebrity performers. With the involvement of music producers Jimmy Iovine and Ron Fair, the troupe was re-cast and transformed into a pop/R&B recording group.
The Pussycat Dolls on the cover of their 2005 debut album, PCD
2003-present: Music Career
In 2003 Nicole Scherzinger (a.k.a. Nicole Kea), a former member of the American Popstars winners Eden's Crush, became the group's lead singer. The present members of the group are Scherzinger; Carmit Bachar (who joined in 1995); Jessica Sutta (who joined in 2002); and Melody Thornton, Kimberly Wyatt, and Ashley Roberts (who all joined in 2003). They opened the MTV Asia Awards 2004.
In 2005, The Pussycat Dolls released their debut album PCD. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, selling over 99,000 copies. It has produced four singles. "Don't Cha" (featuring Busta Rhymes, originally recorded by Tori Alamaze) became their first major hit. The follow-up, "Stickwitu", became the group's second #1 single in the UK. The third single, "Beep", featured Black Eyed Peas lead singer Will.I.Am. They recently released their latest single, "Buttons", featuring Snoop Dogg.
The group won a Billboard Music Award for "Don't Cha" as Top Hot/Dance Club Play Single of the Year. The song was also nominated for Top-Selling Single of the Year and Top-Selling Dance Single of the Year.
Most recently, the Pussycat Dolls have ventured into the virtual world. In 2006, San Francisco-based company Doppelganger (along with Interscope Records, the Pussycat Dolls' label) launched the PCD Music Lounge, an interactive website.
Toy maker Hasbro had plans for a line of dolls modeled after the Pussycat Dolls, but the groups "Dads and Daughters" and the "Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood" successfully lobbied the company to scrap the plan because the dolls would have been inappropriate to market.
The Dolls' repertoire includes both contemporary pop/R&B and cover versions of pop standards. The covers often fit within the traditions of burlesque, cabaret and drag shows; featuring musical vamps and flirtatious choreography. Cover versions they have performed live or recorded include: "Big Spender" (Chita Rivera/Shirley Bassey), "Fever" (Peggy Lee), "Sway" (Dean Martin), "Santa Baby" (Eartha Kitt), "Feelin' Good" (Nina Simone), "Tainted Love" (Gloria Jones/Soft Cell), "Where Did Our Love Go" (The Supremes/Soft Cell), "Hot Stuff" (Donna Summer), and "Don't Cha" (Tori Alamaze).
The Pussycat Dolls, with former member Carmen Electra (bottom center), featured in Interview (magazine) (2002).
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