Paula Abdul

  • Singer born in 1962, from San Fernando California.
  • Abdul started her professional career as a dancer. As a freshman in college, she was chosen to be a cheerleader for the L.A. Lakers. Within a year, she was the head choreographer for the group. When several of the Jacksons saw her at a game, they asked her to do the choreography for the video to the song Torture. This led to much more choreography work, including videos for Janet Jackson, and the giant keyboard dance scene in the movie Big. 
  • In 1987, she made a singing demo. While she was not a strong singer, she took lessons to improve her voice, and her exceptional dancing proved marketable to the pop music world. She was signed to a label, and her debut album, Forever Your Girl, was released in 1988. The album was on the charts for 64 weeks before hitting #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart – the longest ever that it has taken for a record to reach the top of the chart. It became her biggest selling album, certified 7x platinum, and 4 singles topped the Hot 100 chart – Straight Up, Forever Your Girl, Cold Hearted and Opposites Attract. The video for Opposites Attract won the Grammy award for Best Music Video – it featured Abdul dancing with an animated cat named MC Scat Kat. The inspiration for the dance with an animated character came from the film Anchors Away, where Gene Kelly has a dance sequence with Jerry Mouse from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series.
  • Abdul’s follow up album was 1991’s Spellbound. It quickly reached #1, and 2 more #1 singles came from the record – Rush Rush and The Promise of a New Day. Her 6 #1 hits puts her tied for seventh all time among women solo artists.
  • She withdrew from releasing music as she struggled with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. She also suffered injuries in a car accident and plane crash. By 1995, she had recovered and released her final studio album, Head Over Heels. The song My Love Is For Real peaked at #28 on the Hot 100, and at #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart.
  • She has focused on other endeavors since the mid 90s. She co-wrote the song Spinning Around, and planned to record it for a new album, but the album never materialized, so the song was given to Kylie Minogue, who took it to #1 in the UK and Australia. In 2002, she was a judge for season 1 of American Idol, and continued as a judge through season 8. In 2011, she was a judge for the first season of The X Factor. She also judged on dance competitions Live To Dance, So You Think You Can Dance, and was a guest judge on Dancing With the Stars. 
  • In 2008, she returned to the music charts for the first time in 13 years. She recorded Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow, which was included on an album produced by Randy Jackson called Randy Jackson’s Music Club – Vol. 1. Abdul’s single reached #62 on the Hot 100 chart, and #2 on the Dance Club Play chart.
  • Abdul’s decision to withdraw from music seems mysterious to me. Of her 15 singles that charted, 40% topped the chart – 6 consecutive #1s. Very few artists can make that claim. No doubt her health issues contributed to her decision. I’m sure she is making ends meet – her net worth is estimated at $30 million! Here is the Grammy winning video, Opposites Attract.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *