TRY AGAIN (AND AGAIN)

Nicole Scherzinger has a hit. Kelly Rowland has a hit. The world is not over.

Nicole Scherzinger the former lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls, has been trying to land a hit solo single for years. After releasing four songs in 2007, none of which were exactly smashes, her album was shelved. So, what’s changed? Maybe the Pussycat Dolls stigma has worn off? On the flip side, maybe no one actually noticed the Pussycat Dolls weren’t the girls dancing behind her in the “Right There” video? Maybe people can finally pronounce her last name? Whatever it is, Nicole Scherzinger’s “Right There” is picking up steam on radio and iTunes. Strangely enough, Interscope followed the same pattern that led to Scherzinger’s flop in 2007. Both “Whatever U Like” (Nicole’s debut solo single, for those of you who missed it) and “Right There” are urban-leaning tracks that respectively feature rent-a-rappers T.I. and 50 Cent. Earlier this year, Nicole released a more dance-oriented album, “Killer Love” overseas. I was surprised they didn’t go for one of the RedOne produced tracks in the states as well, but it looks like they made the right decision. Now, the question is, will the X Factor do for Nicole’s career what “American Idol” did for Jennifer Lopez and “The Voice” for Christina Aguilera? We shall see.

The only person who’s released more “first singles” than Nicole Scherzinger is Kelly Rowland. The single releases for this album campaign kicked off over a year ago with “Commander.” It was a hit overseas, but failed to do anything in the states. A few other singles were released after that, but met the same fate. Similar to Nicole, I thought her label would have pushed the more dance-leaning Guetta produced tracks, but “Motivation,” a strictly R&B joint featuring Lil Wayne, has become Kelly’s first bonafide hit since her start as a solo artist in 2002.

With both of these girls moving away from the dance/electropop trend and scoring hits, it begs the question: have we reached the end of an era? We all know music comes and goes in cycles and I can see the beginnings of a change…

These two girls have a lot in common. They’re both coming from girl groups and have been floating around the industry for years, but have never scored a solo hit. They’ve also never had any sort of definable image or sound, so hopefully they take what’s working and run with it. Regardless, the moral of the story is, if at first you don’t succeed, pick yourself up and try again.

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