UK Number 1 this week in 2011: Nicole Scherzinger's Don't Hold Your Breath was a hard-fought solo chart-topper
No-one has perhaps had a more laborious road to solo stardom than Nicole Scherzinger, but she got there in the end and then some.
Nicole’s original efforts to launch as an artist in her own right stalled in 2007 with the scrapped project Her Name Is Nicole, although songs written for it would end up back with the Pussycat Dolls, most notably When I Grow Up, a Number 3 hit for the group in 2008.
But after a hiatus following the release of their second album Doll Domination (due to basically every member except Nicole leaving the group), the future X Factor judge would re-centre in the best way possible with her actual debut album, Killer Love.
RedOne-produced banger Poison charted at a very respectable Number 3, but the real hit from the LP would be its second single. Co-written with iconic songwriter Billy Steinberg (whose cuts include Like A Virgin by Madonna) and Max Martin affiliates Carl Falk and Rami (Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande), Don’t Hold Your Breath was a more sophisticated slice of electronica-influenced dance-pop, taking clear inspiration from Madonna’s Ray Of Light.
A decade ago this week, Don’t Hold Your Breath debuted atop the Official Singles Chart, giving Nicole her first (and so far only) UK Number 1 single as a solo artist. With first week sales totalling 98,000 copies, she easily saw off her nearest competition, knocking Adele’s mega-hit ballad Someone Like You off the top spot after a four-week reign (although it would vault back up and dethrone Nicole herself the next week).
As it stands today, Don't Hold Your Breath has chart sales totalling 621,000 and has been streamed over 14 million times in the UK alone. For Nicole's solo career, it was a clear highlight - although she would gain a further three solo Top 10s on the Official Singles Chart (with Right There at Number 3 in 2011 and both Boomerang and Your Love landing at Number 6 in 2013 and 2014 respectively).
MORE: Her Name Is Nicole isn't the only scrapped pop album - view others by Victoria Beckham and Adele lost to time
Elsewhere in the Top 10 that week, the only other two new entries were The Wanted at Number 3 with their Comic Relief single Gold Forever and short-lived girlband Parade, who debuted at Number 10 with their first and only Top 10 hit, Louder.
Interestingly enough, former Parade member Jessica Agombar still has a presence on the charts today as a high-profile songwriter, most recently co-writing BTS’ disco hit Dynamite last year.