Black-and-white organza gown with satin belt, Tony Ward Couture ($18,000). Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show, 702-731-3636. Heels, Burak Uyan ($875). London blue topaz cable wrap ring, David Yurman ($2,450). The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-794-4545

It's been a long, busy day for Nicole Scherzinger. She’s been in the studio putting the final touches on her debut solo CD, Killer Love, and she’s just finished taping an episode of Fox’s The X Factor, where she has quickly emerged as the breakout star—even managing to steal much of the spotlight away from the likes of her boss, Simon Cowell.

Returning to the quiet sanctuary of her LA home, the singer/actress/dancer sits outside in her garden to reflect on the whirlwind that will surround her when she leaves these gates and heads back into the world tomorrow. Her life is nonstop, but the 33-year-old clearly knows that this is her moment, and she is savoring every second.

“I feel like I have put a lot of hard work into my career over the years, and now some of that hard work is paying off and the stars are aligning,” she says. “You never know where the path is going to lead, but I’m along for the ride and trying to stay ahead of the game. I am grateful that I have this show that I love being a part of. If my music connects through this, then that would be my ultimate dream.”

Born to Perform
Scherzinger rose to fame in 2003 after being handpicked by Las Vegas entertainment powerhouse Robin Antin to be the lead in The Pussycat Dolls girl band, which went on to Billboard chart success thanks to singles like “Don’t Cha” and its own reality TV show.

“I love that we had the Pussycat Lounge in Las Vegas, and Robin is holding down the fort,” she says. “Robin and I are still very close, although we’re both so busy I don’t remember the last time we talked on the phone. The Pussycat girls will always be like sisters, because we went through so much together.”

The singer and dancer is clearly passionate about her career. From the age of six, the tiny beauty with Hawaiian and Russian roots wanted to be the next Whitney Houston. “I always knew I would be a singer and a performer no matter what,” she says. “It’s in my veins, and I have always seen that vision in front of me. How I would get there I didn’t know, but I just knew I had to move forward and take every opportunity. And I have a strong faith that has guided me along the way.”

Black blazer and sequin shorts, Tony Ward Couture ($12,000). Neiman Marcus, Fashion Show, 702-731-3636. Jenny pumps, Christian Louboutin ($865). The Shoppes at The Palazzo, 702-818-1650. Starburst button earrings, David Yurman ($4,400). The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-794-4545. Platinum rubellite tourmaline ring, Tiffany & Co. ($35,500). The Forum Shops at Caesars, 702-644-3065

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