Evolving but still dolled up


POSTED: Friday, June 12, 2009

It sure is great to work with well-organized professionals.





        » Where: Blaisdell Arena

» When: 8 p.m. Saturday


» Cost: $60 to $80


» Call: (877) 750-4400




Nicole Scherzinger's management called three times on the day that Scherzinger, lead vocalist and spokeswoman of the Pussycat Dolls, did phone interviews with Hawaii media.

The first was to confirm the Star-Bulletin was ready and waiting for her call from Switzerland, and to warn she was running behind schedule. The second, about 30 minutes later, was to let us know she was still running late but would be calling shortly (and thank you for your patience). The third call came shortly after that, hooking us up with the Queen Doll herself.

Scherzinger sounded relaxed—as if she had all the time in world—despite a publicist's warning that “;her phone is about to die.”;

We got the basic stuff out of the way in short order.

The thing she enjoys most about being a Pussycat Doll?

“;Touring around the world and sharing the music with people all over the world and connecting with people through my music.”;

The guest artist she most enjoyed recording with on the Dolls' first two albums?

“;All of them. I've been so blessed to work with everyone from Missy Elliott to Snoop Dogg to Busta Rhymes to Akon ... all the producers, all of the writers. I have a blast working with them. Why else would I do it? It's always great vibes, and always great music comes out of it.”;

THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS—Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thorton and Kimberly Wyatt—make their Hawaii concert debut Saturday at the Blaisdell Arena.

The Dolls originated as a Los Angeles-based dance group in 1995 and enjoyed international success as dancers before being recast as a pop music act in 2003. Scherzinger and Thornton were added to the revised lineup as primary voices; the original sextet enjoyed worldwide success with their 2005 debut album, “;PCD,”; which spawned three international hits, “;Don't Cha,”; “;Buttons”; and “;Stickwitu.”;

Their second album, “;Doll Domination,”; released last year by the current quintet, includes the hits “;When I Grow Up,”; “;I Hate This Part”; and “;Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny),”; an English version of the theme from “;Slumdog Millionaire.”;

There was another Doll on the scene for a minute or two. Asia Nitollano won a reality show contest, “;The Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll,”; but left for a solo career before work started on “;Doll Domination.”;

All things considered, it's no surprise the group has been attacked by those self-appointed guardians of public morality who perpetually find dark and sinister things in contemporary music. They've been criticized in particular for their sexy concert stage personas, but PCD albums include positive, empowering messages for girls and young women who have outgrown the Cheetah Girls.

For every song with a romantic or sexual theme, there's another about the importance of being true to yourself or not taking any “;stuff”; from would-be playas.

“;People will say what they want to say,”; Scherzinger said. “;Maybe they should listen to the music (before they criticize it).”;

Anyone who dismisses Scherzinger as simply eye candy should take note that her involvement with the Dolls' music extends to duties as a songwriter and producer.

“;Whether I'm co-writing or vocal producing or producing in some way, I always feel a part of the music,”; she said. “;I'm not always writing all the songs or the hits, and I'm still able to relate to them and make them my own and to connect with the song so that other people can the story and the truth in them.

“;But it is always very special for me when I have written a song and to be able to be somewhere in the world and hear in a stadium of 30,000 people singing what I wrote. That is very special to me.”;

Scherzinger added that she feels “;honored to be working with”; the senior members of the Dolls' production team.

“;Even though we're a female pop group, the Pussycat Dolls, we have some of the greatest musicians (as) a part of making these albums and this music, and that's where the quality comes from,”; she said. “;What's so special about being in this group is that you're able to do all different kinds of a music, and that's why I love being part of the Dolls.”;