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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 10:24 GMT
Talking Shop: Nicole Scherzinger
Best known as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger is now marking out her own territory with a solo album called Her Name is Nicole.

Nicole Scherzinger
Scherzinger was born in Honolulu and raised in Louisville, Kentucky
Have you always wanted to become a solo artist?

I always knew I was going to make this album - it was just a matter of when it was all going to come together.

It was an honour to be part of the Dolls, and I knew it was going to be a great platform for me. But the album is totally separate - it's a personal album, a labour of love I've been working on for over two years.

So does this mark the end of your involvement with the Pussycat Dolls?

No, I think it'll be cool to go back and do the Dolls. We've got a lot of fans and a lot of time invested into that. But I know the girls are pursuing stuff they want to do, and Her Name is Nicole is just something I want to live out fully right now.

The Pussycat Dolls were accused of using sex to sell their music - do you think those criticisms were unfair?

The Pussycat Dolls
Nicole joined the Dolls, formerly a burlesque troupe, in 2003
Everyone gets their fair share of this in this business - you're always going to get the critics, especially with a name like ours. But I think in the end the music spoke for itself.

It's crazy - when I look at some of the other artists out there, I think we were more conservative and classy than others who don't get the same rap we do. But it's not really a concern of mine because we prevailed - we rose above it.

The Dolls were one of a number of girl groups that followed The Spice Girls. How do you feel about their reunion?

I think that's cool. People always used to ask us about them in the beginning and I used to say wow - to have even half of their success would be amazing. We loved what they stood for and we tried to take the torch from them and carry it on. I wish them the best of luck.

Your career got a huge boost when you were one of the winners of the US version of Popstars. What's your take on the reality TV phenomenon?

Nicole Scherzinger
Her album includes collaborations with Timbaland and Akon
It can go either way. For me it was a wonderful opportunity. Coming from a small town and humble beginnings and not having any contacts, it was a wonderful platform for me to go in front of the right people and be recognised.

One thing led to another, it brought me to Los Angeles and in front of the right people and here I am today. In the end with those shows, they separate the soldiers from the boys. The cream will always rise to the top.

You are of Hawaiian-Russian-Filipino descent and grew up in Kentucky. How do all these different influences affect your outlook?

It's so exciting to represent people all over the world. There's nobody else who looks like me, with my background doing this kind of music.

I feel like a lot of people internationally can claim me for their own, and I love that. That's what makes me unique and sets me apart as an artist.

Nicole Scherzinger was talking to BBC News Entertainment reporter Neil Smith.

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