Nicole Scherzinger lands West End Cats role

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Nicole Scherzinger
Image caption,
Scherzinger studied theatre at university

Pop singer and former X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger is to make her West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber's record-breaking musical Cats.

The US star will play Grizabella in the award-winning musical, which is returning to London for a 12-week run from 6 December.

The show is based on TS Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

"I am really thrilled to be making my West End debut in such an iconic show," Scherzinger said.

"I grew up listening to Andrew's extraordinary music and was lucky enough, a couple of years ago, to record Cats' beautiful song Memory.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Cats has been performed before more than 50 million people

"Andrew's score is breathtaking and I am truly honoured to have been asked to take part in what I know will be a very special time in my career. I can't wait to begin rehearsals."

Final casting is due to be announced shortly.

Scherzinger studied theatre and dance at the Wright State University in Ohio and joined pop band the Pussycat Dolls in 2003. They went on to sell 50 million records worldwide.

She has also enjoyed solo chart success and spent three years working on ITV talent show The X Factor.

It is not Scherzinger's first performance of Lord Webber's work - as part of the 25th Anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, she sang the title song at the Royal Variety Performance in 2011.

She also performed Don't Cry For Me Argentina last year- from Evita - on ITV show Andrew Lloyd Webber: 40 Musical Years in 2013.

Cats received its world premiere at the New London Theatre in 1981, where it played for 21 record-breaking years, putting on just under 9,000 performances. It transferred to Broadway in 1983 where it ran for 18 years.

Since its world premiere, the musical has won numerous awards including an Olivier award for best musical and seven Tony awards.

Cats has been performed in more than 30 countries and been translated into 10 languages.

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