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About  Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul is an America dancer, choreographer, singer, actress, and television personality. Additionally, she was one of the original judges for the television series American Idol from 2002 to 2009, and has since appeared on The X Factor, Live to Dance, and So You Think You Can Dance.

Early Life

Paula Abdul was born on June 19, 1962 in San Fernando, California. Abdul’s father, Harry Abdul, was born into the Syrian Jewish community in Aleppo, Syria, and was was raised in Brazil before immigrating to the United States. Her mother, concert pianist Lorraine M. Rykiss, grew up in one of the two Jewish families in Minnedosa, Manitoba, and has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestors from the Ukraine.

Paula Abdul began taking dance lessons at an early age in ballet, jazz, and tap. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was a cheerleader and honor student. Abdul studied broadcast at the California State University, Northridge. During her freshmen year, she was selected from a pool of 700 candidates for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team- the famed Laker Girls. Within a year, she became head choreographer.

Career Beginnings

Paula Abdul was discovered by The Jackson after a few of the band members had watched her while attending a Los Angeles Lakers game, and was subsequently signed to do the choreography for the video to their singe, “Torture”. The success of the choreography in the video led to Abdul’s career as choreography of music videos, and became most famous for Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and “Control” videos. In 1987, Abdul used her savings to make a singing demo. Soon after, she was signed to the newly formed Virgin Records by Jeff Ayeroff, who had worked in marketing at A&M Records with Janet Jackson. After strenuous amounts of vocal coaching, Paula Abdul released her debut album, Forever Your Girl, in 1988.

Paula Abdul Discography

Forever Your Girl (1988) - Her debut album served as her breakthrough into the music industry after primarily serving as a choreographer. At the time of the album’s release, it was the most successful debut album of all time and was the first time an artist scored four Billboard Hot 100 number one singles from a debut album. The singles “Straight Up”, “Forever Your Girl”, “Cold Hearted”, and “Opposites Attract” were the most popular songs on the album, which consisted of mostly dance-pop, new jack swing, and R&B music. At its peak, the album reached the number 10 spot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and number one on the Billboard Top 200. Additionally, Forever Your Girl went certified platinum by the RIAA.

Spellbound (1991) - The album, which featured pop and R&B genres was an international success and spawned major radio hits with the singles “Rush Rush”, “The Promise of a New Day”, “Blowing Kisses in the Wind”, “Vibeology”, and “Will You Marry Me?”. At its peak, the album reached the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200. Additionally, Spellbound went certified platinum three times by the RIAA, and won a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.

Head Over Heels (1995) - The album was released after Abdul’s four-year hiatus while battling bulimia, and featured a new direction and style of music, including a more R&B and sensual feeling to her songs. For the most part, reviews on the albums were mixed. Critics often cited that it diverted too far from Abdul’s style of music that made her previous two albums such a hit. At its peak, Head Over Heels reached the number 18 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and went certified gold by the RIAA.

Paula Abdul Tickets

Paula Abdul is set to begin her Straight Up Paula! Tour on October 13 in Morristown, NJ. The tour will feature many different stops in major cities throughout North America, such as: Reno, Santa Rosa, and San Diego before concluding on November 17 in Indio, California. Be sure to get tickets before they sell out!