Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

Pop star Nicole Scherzinger on her way to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics

The singer is part of a growing list of celebrities heading to the capital for the inspiring sporting event

Nicole Scherzinger will be performing in Abu Dhabi at the Special Olympics World Games closing ceremony. Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Nicole Scherzinger will be performing in Abu Dhabi at the Special Olympics World Games closing ceremony. Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Pop star Nicole Scherzinger and Latin singer Erika Ender are among the latest batch of music artists attending the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.

While there is no word yet of them performing, the ex-Pussycat Dolls frontwoman and the Panamanian co-writer of 2017’s global hit Despacito are confirmed guests at the Games, which run from March 14 to 21.

It's personal for Scherzinger

For Scherzinger, the Special Olympics is more than another high-profile gig. As an official global ambassador for the event, the Games have a personal significance for the singer and songwriter, as she grew up with an aunt who has Down syndrome.

"She is such a positive influence and inspiration for me," Scherzinger told Metro in 2013. "People get caught up in everyday little problems and in their own vanity and Keziah is always happy and there to give you love and a hug no matter what. She’s a big walking ball of love – she inspires me to be happy, help others and be more grateful."

Her upcoming appearance is part of another busy year for the Hawaii-born star. Widely acknowledged as the driving force behind the Pussycat Dolls, she wasted no time in launching a solo music career after the group split in 2010.

Her two solo albums, 2011's Killer Love and 2014's Big Fat Lie, did extremely well in the United Kingdom, and Scherzinger appeared as a popular judge on The X Factor UK for the 2012 and 2013 series. She was the winning coach in her first season with her protege, singer James Arthur, clinching the title.

She remains an in-demand performer and is presently a judge in new American television singing quest, The Masked Singer.

The woman behind the hit

Meanwhile, Ender is an important name in the Latin music industry as a singer, songwriter and actress, with her back catalogue featuring popular singles Asi Eres Tu and Cheque Al Portador.

However, it is her songwriting credit for the pop-music juggernaut Despacito, sung by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, that remains her biggest (and most lucrative) achievement.

Scherzinger and Ender will join a slew of celebrity sportsmen jetting into the UAE for the Games, including US fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, former French swimmer and triple Olympian Alain Bernard and American snowboarder Hannah Teter. Special Olympics ambassador and long jumper Bob Beamon will also visit Abu Dhabi for the event, as will Brazilian football legends Romario and Cafu.

The Special Olympics opening ceremony will be held on March 14 at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. Tickets begin from Dh100 from www.ticketmaster.ae.

Updated: March 4, 2019 07:09 PM

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