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Paula Abdul

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Also Known As: Paula Julie Abdul Died:
Born: June 19, 1962 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: San Fernando, California, USA Profession: choreographer, dancer, singer, actor, professional cheerleader

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Known primarily as a music video choreographer and pop star of the late 1980s, Paula Abdul would later enjoy triumphant career resurgence as a judge on the phenomenally popular reality talent show, "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ). But years before she could make aspiring singer's dreams come true, Abdul was a key figure in the 1980s music video world for her choreography work with Janet Jackson among others. She would parlay her role as a high profile dancer into a brief music career where her fun, poppy R&B-tinged singles and electric concert performances earned comparisons to Jackson and Madonna. At the peak of her popularity, Abdul was continually criticized for her fluctuating weight and her limited vocal range, and when her style was eclipsed by harder grunge rock in the early 1990s, she faded into obscurity. Or so the naysayers believed. Proving them all wrong, in 2002, Abdul was cast on "American Idol" in the obligatory role of "overly kind" judge alongside the abrasive Simon Cowell and the bland Randy Jackson. Her earlier "nice girl" veneer, however, soon gave way to controversy amid Abdul's loopy behavior, allegations of inappropriate contact with a male "Idol" contestant, and her dramatic and...

Known primarily as a music video choreographer and pop star of the late 1980s, Paula Abdul would later enjoy triumphant career resurgence as a judge on the phenomenally popular reality talent show, "American Idol" (Fox, 2002- ). But years before she could make aspiring singer's dreams come true, Abdul was a key figure in the 1980s music video world for her choreography work with Janet Jackson among others. She would parlay her role as a high profile dancer into a brief music career where her fun, poppy R&B-tinged singles and electric concert performances earned comparisons to Jackson and Madonna. At the peak of her popularity, Abdul was continually criticized for her fluctuating weight and her limited vocal range, and when her style was eclipsed by harder grunge rock in the early 1990s, she faded into obscurity. Or so the naysayers believed. Proving them all wrong, in 2002, Abdul was cast on "American Idol" in the obligatory role of "overly kind" judge alongside the abrasive Simon Cowell and the bland Randy Jackson. Her earlier "nice girl" veneer, however, soon gave way to controversy amid Abdul's loopy behavior, allegations of inappropriate contact with a male "Idol" contestant, and her dramatic and unexpected departure from one of the most popular TV series on television.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
 Touched By Evil (1997) Ellen Collier
4.
6.
 American Idol: The Phenomenon (2004) Interviewee
8.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1981:
Made film debut at age 15 in "Junior High School"
:
Offered a dance scholarship at the Julliard school for performing arts in New York City; turned it down to stay closer to home
1982:
Left college to join the Los Angeles Lakers' cheerleading squad, known as the Laker Girls; promoted to choreographer within a few months
1984:
Discovered by the Jacksons while dancing at a Laker game; hired as an assistant dance director on The Jackson's <i>Victory</i> Tour
1986:
Choreographed four of Janet Jackson's videos from her <i>Control</i> album, including "Nasty" and "What Have You Done for Me Lately?"
:
Began choreographing for such movies as "Bull Durham," "The Running Man," "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Coming to America"
1987:
Signed a deal with Virgin records
1988:
Released her debut album, <i>Forever Your Girl</i>; the single "Straight Up" became Paula's first No. 1 hit
:
Won an Emmy Award for choreographing "The Tracy Ullman Show"
1990:
Released a remix album titled, <i>Shut Up And Dance</i>, which became the top-selling remix album in history
1991:
Released the album <i>Spellbound</i>; the single "Rush Rush" was an instant hit
1995:
After taking a few years off for personal issues, she released <i>Head Over Heels</i>, her third studio album
1997:
Starred in the ABC television movie, "Touched By Evil"
1999:
Cast in the NBC television movie, "Mr. Rock and Roll: The Alan Freed Story"
:
Started her own dance company, Company Dance, and showcased dance competitions throughout the US
2002:
Appeared with Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson as judges on the reality competition "American Idol" (Fox); announced she was leaving the show before the start of the ninth season
2002:
Became a correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight" (CBS)
2005:
Joined Fox's reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" as a correspondent
2007:
Co-produced and starred in the reality series "Hey Paula" for the Bravo network
2008:
Released first single in over 10 years, "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow"; song debuted on "On Air with Ryan Seacrest"
2009:
Debuted "I'm Just Here for the Music" on the Ryan Seacrest Radio show; also performed the song on the "American Idol" (Fox) results show
2009:
Appeared in several episodes of the Lifetime series, "Drop Dead Diva"
2011:
Served as judge, executive producer, mentor and coach on CBS' dancing competition, "Live to Dance"
2011:
Re-teamed with Simon Cowell as a judge on the American version of "The X-Factor"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Van Nuys High School: Van Nuys , California -
California State University, Northridge: Northridge , California -

Notes

Described as "the kind of mass-appeal superstar critics love to loathe. Many claim the former cheerleader's peppy dance routines and videogenic charm, not her musical ability, pushed sales of her first album to 7 million and the second, "Spellbound", to nearly 3 million." --USA Today, October 29, 1991.

"Abdul got a chance to show off her voice. It was lovely, although not great. Her appeal lies in her wonderful phrasing, attention to details and sense of showmanship that engages the crowd in every piece." --Dan Aquilante in his New York Post review of Abdul's first concert tour, November 20, 1991.

"Ms. Abdul owes her multi-million-selling albums to diligence and modern electronics as well as catchy songs. Diligence and skill turned a short, rounded (but trim) cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers into an influential pop choreographer; studio electronics bolstered a small voice on her albums and glamorized her video image with quick cuts and careful camera angles." --Jon Pareles in his The New York Times review of Abdul's concert tour, November 21, 1991.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Emilio Estevez. Actor. Married; divorced.
husband:
Brad Beckerman. Sportswear manufacturer. Married in October 1996; filed for divorce in March 1998.
companion:
Jace Richdale. Screenwriter. Wrote for the TV series "The Simpsons".
lover:
Colton Melby. Business man. Dating as of May 2003.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Abdul. Syrian, Brazilian; divorced.
mother:
Lorraine Abdul. Classical pianist. French-Canadian; divorced.
sister:
Wendy Abdul. Born c. 1956.

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