One of Wright State’s most purr-fect former students is expected to return to her old stomping grounds.
A lot has changed for former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger since her days playing Julie LaVerne in Wright State’s 1998 production of “Show Boat” opposite Michael Mueller as Pete. She also played Velma in “Chicago.”
Scherzinger, who studied musical theater and dance at the Fairborn university from 1996 to 1999, will receive the 2017 Alumna of the Year Award from the Wright State Alumni Association on Monday Aug. 27. She was unable to attend last year’s ceremony.
“The awards committee, made up of Nicole’s fellow degreed and non-degreed alumni, selected her because of her international acclaim, multiple award nominations, including Grammy and Olivier, and platinum-selling albums combined with her frequent acknowledgement of Wright State University as an important influence in her growth and success,” Greg Scharer, executive director of alumni relations, said as part of a post on Wright State’s website.
None of the programs are open to the general public.
Scherzinger will participate in several private events and classes in Wright State’s Creative Arts Center including a question-and-answer session with students, faculty and university supporters facilitated by Joe Deer, chair of the Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Picture.
“Her obvious talent and, almost as striking, her kindness were undeniable,” Deer, Scherzinger’s professor during her time at the school, said in a Wright State post. “I have had students with either great talent or incredible drive and focus. But Nicole is the rare student with both.”
During her time with the Pussycat Dolls, the group was nominated for a Grammy for the 2007’s "Stickwitu.”
The group lost to “My Humps" by The Black Eyed Peas for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Scherzinger has sold 37 million singles worldwide as an solo artist and with the Pussycat Dolls.
Born in Hawaii and raised in Louisville, Scherzinger has starred in the acclaimed musical “Rent” at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for playing “Grizabella” in “Cats.”
She has hosted “The X Factor” in the U.S. and UK and been a judge and actress on a number of other TV shows.