Nicole Scherzinger Says She's Starting a 'New Chapter of My Life': 'Getting Back to My Love for Singing'

"I want to do my own take of a modern-day Cher, Bette Midler, Shirley Bassey," the Masked Singer judge tells PEOPLE of her dreams for the future

nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger. Photo: Patrick Dwyer

When Nicole Scherzinger took the stage at the newly opened Sun Rose venue in Los Angeles' Pendry Hotel on April 8, she masterfully encapsulated all of her talents into one fitting performance of "Show Off" from The Drowsy Chaperone.

During the song, the Masked Singer judge sang the tongue in cheek verses — including "I don't want to show off no more / I don't want to sing tunes no more / I don't wanna ride moons no more / I don't wanna show off" — while intermixing the choruses of some of her most famous hits with the Pussycat Dolls, like "Buttons" and "Don't Cha," and showing off her impressive dance moves, the irony eliciting some laughter from the audience.

Throughout the evening, Scherzinger, 43, paid homage not only to her own past but to those who came before her as she performed Broadway classics like "Don't Rain on My Parade" from Funny Girl and "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret. She even did a cover of Prince's "Purple Rain."

"I wanted to showcase a diverse set of songs that would really show my range, through different styles of singing and genres, from Broadway, classics and standards to pop-rock and jazz-blues," Scherzinger tells PEOPLE. "I mainly chose songs that resonated with my spirit and my soul."

"These are all songs that I really connect with on a deeper emotional level and feel connected to my own story," she continues. "I love nothing more than breathing my own life into these songs and performing them in a way that hopefully no one has ever felt or seen before."

nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger. Huy Do

Growing up, Scherzinger says she looked to artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bette Midler, Shirley Bassey and Cher for inspiration. She also says she "studied" Cher and Olivia Newton-John's variety shows.

Now, "I want to do my own take of a modern-day Cher, Bette Midler, Shirley Bassey," she says. "I am inspired by these and many women of that era. Not only were they iconic fashionistas, they were bold and they were doing their own thing, their own way. They were captivating. And that's what I aspire to do in my own performances."

RELATED VIDEO: Nicole Scherzinger Jokes 'Sherlock Scherzi Is Coming Out' for 'Difficult' Masked Singer Season

As Scherzinger — who debuted a new song, "Never Going Back," from her upcoming solo album during the show — looks forward to a "new chapter of my life," she says she is all "about getting back to my love for singing and music."

"To me, music is emotion," she says. "Music is story. I just want to go back to my love of music, my love of singing, my love of telling stories through songs, connecting on a much deeper level through performance, having people transcend through these performances and be moved, inspired or changed in some way."

nicole Scherzinger
Nicole Scherzinger. Huy Do

For now, Scherzinger can be seen on The Masked Singer airing Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

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