The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger Rejected Songs That Became Hits For Rihanna and Gnarls Barkley – And a Spot In Another Group

Nicole Scherzinger rose to fame as the lead singer of the all-female pop group, The Pussycat Dolls. The group was known for their dance skills and their messages of female empowerment but Scherzinger wanted more and opted for a solo career. She failed to match the same success but had a smooth transition to mentor and judge on some of the top reality competition shows, including X Factor and The Masked Singer.

Nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger 2012 | Christie Goodwin/Redferns

But Scherzinger’s lack of solo stardom could be attributed to her failure to notice a hit song. She’s turned down tracks that later went on to be megahits for Gnarls Barkley and Rihanna. She also had the chance to be the female singer in The Black Eyed Peas.

Nicole Scherzinger passed on Gnarls Barkley’s hit, “Crazy”

Scherzinger was offered “Crazy” during recording sessions with Cee-Lo Green, one half of the Gnarls Barkley duo. Luckily, The Pussycat Dolls hit “Don’t Cha” was produced out of the same session and the group at least had that to look forward to. The reason why Scherzinger passed on the song is unknown, but she missed out on a massive hit.

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Related: What is Nicole Scherzinger’s Net Worth Since Leaving The Pussycat Dolls?

Gnarls Barkley ended up keeping the track for themselves. The song was the debut single from their debut album St. Elsewhere. “Crazy” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also had success internationally, topping the charts in the UK, Denmark, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and New Zealand among others.

The group took home the Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance at the 2007 ceremony. Rolling Stone Magazine also named “Crazy” the best song of 2006. 

Nicole Scherzinger says she was “too busy” to record “We Found Love” – which became one of Rihanna’s biggest hits

Scherzinger had another oops moment when she passed on “We Found Love.” At the time, she was working on solo music while also hosting several television projects. She also wanted to go in a different direction and show off her vocal ability with ballads versus continuing with dance tracks that she became known for with The Pussycat Dolls.

Source: YouTube

“I passed on ‘We Found Love’. I got the demo of that song and I was busy at the time,” she told Notion Magazine. “They’d sent me a few dance tracks and I wasn’t able to get to them and I was like, ‘Oh, there’s so much dance and I want to take a break from it’. That was my fault. I slept on it.”

To be fair, Scherzinger was judging the U.S. version of X Factor at the time in the show’s inaugural season. Filming for the singing competition show is intense and the show is filmed several days of the week – with the additional time needed for press.

Too bad she did pass on the song. “We Found Love” became a number one hit in 25 countries and sold over 6 million copies, making it one of the biggest-selling singles of all time. The song also topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and stayed for 10 non-consecutive weeks, making it the longest-running number-one single of 2011.

Why Nicole Scherzinger did not take a spot in The Black Eyes Peas

Scherzinger didn’t just miss out on solo hits, she also said no to a spot in The Black Eyed Peas. As it turns out, she was originally offered the role but turned it down because she was contracted elsewhere. The role went to Fergie, who helped make the group a worldwide success before she too went solo. 

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Once it was confirmed that Fergie had no intention of reuniting with The Black Eyed Peas, it was rumored that Scherzinger would be her replacement but that later proved to not be the case.

Despite the hiccups, Scherzinger has no regrets and is not looking back. The Pussycat Dolls officially reunited in 2019 sans one member, Melody Thornton. The group is looking forward to putting out new music and touring.