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Nicole Scherzinger wept during her first photoshoot for the Pussycat Dolls - because she was "ashamed" of her sexy outfit.

The singer joined the burlesque troop in 2003 when it was in the process of being re-branded as a girl band, and she had to cast off her conservative image for a more racy look.

She admits wearing the group's raunchy stage costumes helped her overcome her crippling shyness - but the outfits also made her feel under pressure to lose weight.

Scherzinger tells Britain's Fabulous magazine, "Those teeny costumes were a shocker. I cried my way through my first photoshoot - I felt so self-conscious and ashamed. I'd never worn revealing clothes before, or pushed a sexy image. But I knew it was the right thing to do...

"Being a Pussycat Doll was the best thing I ever did. I learned to deal with my inhibitions, from my body to my shyness and self-consciousness... When I had to wear almost nothing on stage for the first time I got a shock - my body was visible from every angle and I just wanted to lose weight.

"I wasn't big, but those costumes aren't forgiving. I did every diet known to man. None of them work. You just have to exercise and eat sensibly."