It seemed like Nicole’s journey was over until she saw an audition notice for The Pussycat Dolls. Although Nicole was hesitant and extremely nervous, she made it just as auditions were closing and wowed everyone with her raw talent, despite her nerdy girl style. “At the time I wore glasses, a full button-up blouse, and I just bought these new pinstripe pants from Forever 21. I just looked like…a nerd.”
Because Nicole’s fellow group members were primarily dancers (except Melody Thornton), it was her that recorded over 95% of the Dolls’ vocals and established herself as the face and voice of the group: “I love those girls. Those are my sisters. But people don’t know the whole story. I was in center because I was singing. I was the one singing. I’ll never forget, I finished the album PCD and Ron and I brought the girls into the studio and played it for them. And it was the first time they’d ever heard the music. Do you understand what I’m saying? We played the album for the Pussycat Dolls.’
The beginning of the Dolls also marked the beginning of Nicole’s nine year battle with bulimia, a disease that stemmed from her insecurities about her looks at a younger age. While society would label a girl like Nicole as gorgeous, she still felt inadequate inside, especially as the lead singer of a group who’s popularity was partly due to their sexy look. “For our first photo shoot, I got my outfit and my outfit was a bra, some underwear, some garters, I was sweatin in the back room and I was like I don’t wanna go out, I can’t do this,” she says.” “It was all new to me and I was incredibly scared. I was not comfortable with my body. I never did drugs but hurting myself was my addiction,” she revealed.
In combination with the other girls’ resentment for being in the background and Nicole’s personal demons, the group officially disbanded in 2011 after two successful albums. The end of the group and the beginning of a solo career also marked the end of Nicole’s battle with bulimia. “Music is my therapy, prescription music is what I call it. The music is the thing that saved me. It’s the only thing I can rely on. It’s the only thing I can trust.”
Let’s hope that 2013 brings Nicole the solo success she’s always dreamed of. –Nicole Brown