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Nicole Scherzinger talks survival in a tough business

Former Pussycat Doll, X Factor judge and on-off girlfriend of Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, Nicole Scherzinger has been reflecting on her relentless ambition. Talking to the Independent, it was clear that desire for fame and success tends to be her driving force. She is still disgruntled that she hasn’t got Grammys, Tonys, Emmys, Oscars, all the tangible rewards of showbiz acceptance. She’ll keep doing what it takes until she gets there.

Consider that girl band she used to be in. Scherzinger was initially unimpressed by their name and their image. "I come from a strong religious background, and I had a very conservative upbringing," she recalled. "So I was nervous, and confused. Here I was wanting to be Whitney Houston, so why did I have to dress in lingerie to do that? I didn't get it."

She got it soon enough when she realised that fame and money were the rewards. "I didn't have a choice," she said. "It was a heck of an opportunity. I didn't have the confidence to go around in all that lingerie. I'm a crazy bitch now, of course, and I'm all over that, I love it, I embrace it. But back then? Back then, I wasn't comfortable at all."

The pressures of belting out sexually explicit lyrics in skimpy underwear led to her becoming bulimic. That would suggest that she might realise that all this pressure was hardly healthy. Instead she rocked the lingerie look enthusiastically and took the explicit lyrics to new levels of raunchiness in her solo career.

In short she has been exploited, compromised and made ill by the pressures to conform to the way the music industry demands its female stars behave. And yet she cheerily embraces that industry’s demands by encouraging its perpetuation in X Factor. "This is such a tough industry, you know," she said. "To make it, you really have to sell your soul to the devil."

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