Melody Thornton (born September 28, 1984) is an American singer-songwriter, dancer and television personality. She rose to stardom as a member of the successful pop group the Pussycat Dolls. The youngest member of the group, Thornton assumed the second most prominent vocal role, after lead vocalist Nicole Scherzinger, and was distinguished for her melismatic vocal runs. As of 2010, Thornton has departed from the group to focus on her solo career. Thornton's first mixtape, P.O.Y.B.L was released March 15, 2012.
Thornton graduated from Camelback High School in Phoenix, Arizona in 2003. She is of Mexican American descent from her mother Elia, and her father Theolph Thornton of African American descent. Thornton has an older sister named Nichole Thornton. Her talent was first discovered at a Papago Elementary School talent show when she sang Mariah Carey's remake of Badfinger's "Without You".
2003–10: Pussycat Dolls era
In 2003, soprano vocalist Thornton was recruited in the Pussycat Dolls order to add vocal strength to the group. She saw the Pussycat Dolls on MTV Diaries featuring Christina Aguilera and heard they were auditioning for a new group member. Thornton went to the audition and was recruited in December 2003. For her audition, Thornton only sang and was still accepted into the group. As with the other Dolls, she is a salaried employee of Interscope Records. Her nickname for the group is "Baby Doll" because she is the youngest of the group.
The Pussycat Dolls achieved worldwide success in 2005 with their album PCD, which debuted at number five on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart and produced the hits "Don't Cha", "Buttons", and "Stickwitu", the last of which earned the group a Grammy Award nomination. Following the departure of Carmit Bachar in March 2008, the group continued as a quintet and in 2008 released their second studio album, Doll Domination which included the hits "When I Grow Up", "I Hate This Part", "Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny)" and "Hush Hush". She was the only member to have contributed vocals apart from Scherzinger on Doll Domination (Standard Edition). She provides additional backing vocals and ad-libs to many of the songs, although on "Elevator", "Love the Way You Love Me", "Takin' Over the World" and "Painted Windows" she can be found sharing the lead vocals with Scherzinger. Additionally on "When I Grow Up", "Whatcha Think About That" and "Top of the World" she sings secondary vocals. She also recorded her very first Pussycat Doll solo song called "Space" which was included in the deluxe edition of Doll Domination.
2010–present: "Sweet Vendetta", P.O.Y.B.L and debut solo album
During the Pussycat Doll's hiatus, Thornton worked on several projects including a cameo on Keri Hilson's music video "Slow Dance" and being a judge at E!'s TV show Bank of Hollywood with the production by Ryan Seacrest. In June 2010 Rap-Up reported that she has departed from the group and was working on her solo album. Speaking about her position in the group she commented, "I got into the group to sing. That was made very clear to me. But it became more and more apparent what was going on. Roles were being minimized and minimized, and then by the time it got on the show, it was very much like 'Y'all play your part and this is what it is.' It was tough because you don't want to shit on your own opportunity."
On February 20, 2010, in an interview for The Source Thornton explained that her songs will be different from the group's sound but will not going to abandon that pop demographic that she acquired through the Pussycat Dolls. In June 2010 Rap-Up first announced that Thornton was working on her solo album with collaborators including Cee Lo Green, Polow da Don, and Lil Wayne. On Vibe Magazine she stated that she is also working with Dre and Vidal. Thornton's recording of the Cee Lo produced song "Love Gun" leaked to the internet around this time. The song was eventually recorded by Green and Lauren Bennett for his album The Lady Killer.
On June 16, 2011, Thornton's first official single, "Sweet Vendetta", was released. On June 26, 2011, Thorton announced plans to have her debut solo album released sometime in 2012. On March 5, 2012, Lipstick & Guilt was released as a promotional single. On March 15, 2012, her first mixtape "P.O.Y.B.L", an acronym for Piss On Your Black List, was released. The mixtape contains 10 tracks of five remakes and four originals all written by Melody. The project includes production from Andre Harris ("Smoking Gun"), Church and State ("Sweet Vendetta"), Mark Vinten ("Intro"), and Melody on the self-produced "Hit the Ground Runnin'," plus a duet with Bobby Newberry (a cover of La Roux's "Bulletproof").
On May 24, 2012, a music video for the cover version of "Bulletproof" from P.O.Y.B.L, featuring Bobby Newberry, premiered. On June 14, 2012, she made a cameo appearance in a Bobby Newberry's music video for his debut single Dirrty Up, alongside ex-Pussycat Doll member Ashley Roberts.
On May 17, 2013, Thornton made a special guest appearance in Fat Joe's music video "Ballin'".
Thornton was featured in an add for Dior 2014 and has been working as a part-time model since 2011.
Thornton most recently appeared in series 2 of the British E4 show "Celebs Go Dating".
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Someone to Believe"||—|
(featuring Bobby Newberry)
(with Bobby Newberry)
(with Bobby Newberry)
|"—" denotes a title that was not released or did not chart in that territory.|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Go Too Far"|
(Jibbs featuring Melody Thornton)
|2006||—||17||Jibbs Featuring Jibbs|
|2009||"Ease Off the Liquor"||Timbaland||Shock Value 2||Additional vocals|
|2013||"Something About You (Love The World)"||LL Cool J||Authentic (LL Cool J album)||Featuring vocals w/ Earth, Wind & Fire & Charlie Wilson|
|2013||"Mittlefinger"||Prince Kay One||Rich Kidz||Featuring vocals|
|2013||"24/7"||Prince Kay One||Rich Kidz (Deluxe Edition)||Featuring vocals|
|2013||"I'll Be Fine"||Bizzy Crook||84||Featuring vocals|
|2009||"Slow Dance"||Chris Robinson||Cameo|
|2011||"Don't Wanna Go Home"||Rich Lee||Cameo appearance|
|2012||"Lipstick & Guilt"||Dano Cerny and Marielle Tepper|
|"Someone To Believe"||Yaro|
|2013||"Ballin"||Elf Rivera||Cameo Appearance|
|2007||Keeping Up with the Kardashians||Herself||Episode 1|
|Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll||Herself|
|2009||Bank of Hollywood||Judge|
|2010||TV Guide's Countdown to the Grammys||Host||Co-host with Justin Guarini|
|World Music Awards||Herself||Presenter|
|2011||Popstar to Operastar||Herself||Performer/Contestant|
|2017||Celebs Go Dating||Herself||Contestant|
|2017||Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls||Herself|
Awards and nominations
|Grammy Awards||Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals||"Stickwitu"||Nominated|