Paula Abdul

photo Paula Abdul
Name: Paula Abdul ( Paula Abdul )
Born: June 19, 1962
Age: 62 years old
Birthplace: San Fernando, USA
Height: 4 Feet 12 Inches
Occupation: singer, producer, dancer, choreographer, actress, TV host
Relationship Status: divorced
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    Paula Abdul: biography

    Paula Abdul is an American dancer, choreographer, singer, actress and TV host, Grammy Award Winner, MTV Video Music Award Nominee. She received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography twice for her work on The Tracey Ullman Show and her own performance at the American Music Awards in 1990. Abdul received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was the first to win the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

    Childhood and youth

    Paula Julie Abdul was born in San Fernando, California, on June 19, 1962. Her father, Harry Abdul, was born into the Jewish community in Aleppo and grew up in Brazil. In his youth, he immigrated to the United States, where he first sold livestock, then became the owner of a sand and gravel company.

    Paula Abdul
    Paula Abdul

    Her mother, concert pianist Lorraine M. Rykiss, was born in Canada and has Russian and Ukrainian ancestry. She worked as an assistant director and screenwriter of Billy Wilder, known for the films Some Like It Hot and Irma la Douce. The family broke up when the future star was small, and the mother raised Paula and her older sister Wendy alone.

    From an early age, the girl loved to dance. She began to attend ballet, tap dance and jazz classes because she was inspired by the performances of Gene Kelly in the musical Singin' In The Rain. She attended Van Nuys High School. The girl was an excellent student and a cheerleader.

    Paula Abdul in her youth
    Paula Abdul in her youth

    At the age of 15, Abdul received a scholarship to a dance camp near Palm Springs, and in 1978 she played in the low-budget independent musical film Junior High School.

    After graduating from school, Paula studied radio broadcasting at California State University. During her freshman year, she was selected for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team. During the year she became a head choreographer.


    Abdul made it in show business after members of the famous band The Jacksons saw her performance at a basketball game. It was a turning point in her biography. The young woman was signed to do the choreography for the video to their single "Torture." Paula worried a lot, showing the Jackson brothers how to move. The success of the choreography in the video led to Paula’s career development. She began to work further with musicians and actors.

    Paula Abdul choreographed the scene involving Tom Hanks's character in the film Big

    Paula’s most famous works were the choreography for Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and “Control” videos, the performances for The Jacksons show entitled Victory and the choreography for the scene of the film Big where Tom Hanks was dancing on a giant keyboard.

    Soon, Paula decided to step out of the shade of the stars and began a singing career. It turned out that Abdul, an experienced dancer, and choreographer, was an untrained singer. The girl had to work a lot with teachers to develop a vocal ability, with her vocal range defined as a mezzo-soprano.

    Singer Paula Abdul
    Singer Paula Abdul

    In 1987, Paula used her savings to make a singing demo, which the founder of Virgin Records liked. Abdul signed a contract with the studio and recorded the album Forever Your Girl, released in 1988.

    It was one of the most successful debut albums of the late 1980s. It topped the American singles charts, spent ten weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, the album set a record for the most singles from a debut album to reach number one, was certified platinum in the USA.

    Paula Abdul's song "Opposites Attract"

    At the 32nd Grammy Awards, Abdul won her first Grammy for Best Music Video for "Opposites Attract," where beautiful dark-skinned Paula danced in the streets and rooftops of the city alongside an animated cat.

    One more hit song of the debut album was "Straight Up." It became famous thanks to a black and white music video, shot by David Fincher and directed by the singer. The video received 4 MTV Video Music Awards: Best Female Video, Best Editing in a Video, Best Choreography in a Video and Best Dance Video.

    Paula Abdul's song "Straight Up"

    In 1991, Yvette Marine, a backing singer of Forever Your Girl, filed a lawsuit against Abdul and the Virgin label, alleging that it was her vocals that were used on the album. A jury sided with Abdul and the label and two years rejected Marine's claim.

    In 1991, Paula Abdul’s second studio album Spellbound was released. It repeated the success of the previous one and sold 7 million copies worldwide. The album retained the dance-pop sound and introduced elements of R&B. The song "Rush Rush," featuring Keanu Reeves in its music video, became the first single in the album. After the release of the disc, the singer went on Under My Spell tour around the United States, Canada, and Asian countries.

    Paula Abdul's song “Rush Rush”

    The same year, Paula appeared in a famous Diet Coke commercial, where she danced with a digital image of her idol, Gene Kelly. The singer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in December 1991.

    In 1995, after a break, Abdul recorded the third studio album Head over Heels, which reached number 18 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, and later became the best-selling release. Paula performed with singer Ofra Haza the main single of the record "My Love Is for Real." In 1995, Abdul released a dance workout video in hip-hop style entitled "Paula Abdul's Get Up and Dance!".

    Paula Abdul
    Paula Abdul

    Two years later, Paula co-wrote a song called "Spinning Around" with record producer and composer Kara DioGuardi, which was intended to be her single from a new album. Abdul did not release the disc for personal reasons, and Kylie Minogue recorded the song.

    In 1997-1999, Abdul appeared in the ABC television film Touched By Evil as a businesswoman who found out that her boyfriend was a serial rapist. At the same time, she released Cardio Dance, a second workout video, and served as a choreographer for several film and theatre productions, including the musical Reefer Madness (1998) and the film American Beauty (1999).

    Paula Abdul in the film Touched By Evil
    Paula Abdul in the film Touched By Evil

    In 2000, Virgin Records released the first of two compilations by the singer entitled Paula Abdul: Greatest Hits, the second one was called Greatest Hits: Straight Up! (2007). In 2002, Paula Abdul continued her career on television. She became a judge and mentor in the favorite show American Idol, then a reporter of the program Entertainment Tonight.

    In 2007, the personal life of the singer and TV host was shown in the reality show Hey Paula. The star’s behavior in some episodes was criticized by critics and audience, so, the project was canceled after the first season.

    Paula Abdul's song "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow"

    In 2008, after a 13-year hiatus, Abdul released the single "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow", which became the first track of the album Randy Jackson's Music Club Vol. 1. Fans hoped that the singer began work on a new disc, but it was not true. One year later, the pop star of the 1990s recorded the latest song to date "I'm Just Here for the Music," which she presented on the radio and in the project American Idol.

    Since 2010, Paula has served as a judge in various television projects: Live to Dance, The X Factor, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and others. She starred in television series as a guest star.

    Paula Abdul on The X Factor
    Paula Abdul on The X Factor

    On August 6, 2016, Paula Abdul performed a full headline set for the first time in 26 years at the Mixtape Festival in Pennsylvania. A year earlier, the American band New Kids on the Block had announced a joint tour with the pop star of the 1990s and Boyz II Men.

    Personal life

    Paula Abdul has had a lot of boyfriends in life. At the beginning of her career, she dated American comedian, Arsenio Hall; then her boyfriend was John Stamos, the star of the television series ER. In 1991, the singer met actor Emilio Estevez. On April 29, 1992, the young people got married and lived together for two years.

    Paula Abdul and her first husband, Emilio Estevez
    Paula Abdul and her first husband, Emilio Estevez

    Their divorce coincided with other troubles in Paula's life, and the main one was a health problem. Since childhood, Abdul suffered from an eating disorder, which intensified when she became a pop star. She had to seek medical treatment of bulimia.

    In 1996 the singer met her second husband, designer Brad Beckerman. The wedding took place in Bristol, Connecticut. The couple divorced on March 10, 1998, after 17 months of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Paula did not have children in both marriages.

    Paula Abdul and her second husband, Brad Beckerman
    Paula Abdul and her second husband, Brad Beckerman

    In April 2005 Abdul told that she suffered from the neurological disorder, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which causes chronic pain. This disease is also known as Leriche's disease (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).

    Paula has suffered from male violence. In April 2006, Abdul filed a report at a Hollywood police station, claiming that she had been a victim of battery at a private party. An unknown man grabbed her by the arm and threw her against a wall. According to the singer, she had sustained a concussion and spinal injuries.

    Paula Abdul
    Paula Abdul

    In 2011, on Valentine's day, Paula quarreled with her lover in the estate in Santa Barbara. The singer called the rescue service, as the man locked her in the house and threatened to kill her in case she reported to the police.

    One more commotion was the suicide of a candidate at the show American Idol. In November 2008 a 30-year-old woman named Paula Goodspeed was found dead in her car outside of Abdul's Los Angeles home, surrounded by photos and CDs of the star. After that incident the singer could not live at home for a long time, she visited friends or stayed at a hotel.

    Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell
    Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell

    The celebrity has not forgotten about her personal life, in 2008-2010, she dated the British TV host, Simon Cowell, but they did not marry. Paula believes that marriage is not her thing. The main thing in life is “to find a friend and be emotionally close to him,” love and respect that do not depend on “a scrap of paper where it is written that someone is your husband.”

    Paula Abdul now

    In July 2018, Abdul announced that she would embark on a solo headlining tour across North America as part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of her debut studio album Forever Your Girl. Now the singer performs the program entitled "Straight Up Paula."

    Paula Abdul in 2018
    Paula Abdul in 2018

    On October 20, 2018, Paula tumbled off the stage during the performance of the hit “The Promise of a New Day” at a concert in Biloxi, Mississippi. The singer did not get injured and found the strength to continue the performance.


    • 1988 – Forever Your Girl
    • 1991 – Spellbound
    • 1995 – Head over Heels


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