Full Name: Paula Julie Abdul
Birth Date: June 19, 1962
Birth Place: San Fernando, California, USA
Height: 5' 2"
Quote: "People say I'm too nice. I tell them to get over it."
Paula Julie Abdul was born on June 19th, 1962 in San Fernando, California. The youngest of two daughters born to Harry and Lorraine Abdul she was inspired at an early age by the film 'Singing In The Rain', and as a young girl her ultimate ambition was to be a successful dancer like her idol Gene Kelly. From the age of nine she took dance lessons and impressed her teachers with her natural ability to dance and entertain.
Following graduation Paula appeared on the small screen when she was just sixteen years old in the 1978 movie-musical 'Junior High School'. However, her true dream was to be a dancer. In the early 1980s Paula attended an audition to cheer for the LA Lakers. She defeated hundreds of other hopefuls to cheer for the legendary basketball team where her unique and dynamic dance style earned her the converted position of choreographer. She quickly became recognized as one of the most talented up and coming choreographers in Hollywood and is credited with the choreography of the films 'Private School' (1983) and 'Coming To America' (1988). She also choreographed routines for the highly popular TV series 'The Tracy Ullman Show'.
It was whilst choreographing the LA Lakers that she was spotted by The Jackson Five. Janet Jackson hired her to choreograph her video 'Nasty'. Paula’s reputation had spread like wildfire throughout the showbiz world, and she was now being hired by superstars of the 1980s like George Michael, Debbie Gibson, Duran Duran, INXS and ZZ Top.
By this time Paula had accumulated a respectable amount of money and decided it was time to make the step up from background choreography to the limelight of stardom. She used her money and connections to record a demo tape which persuaded Virgin America to record an album. In May 1988 she recorded and released a single called "Knocked Out" which peaked at number 41 on the Hot 100. A month later on June 13th Virgin America released "Forever Your Girl", Paula's debut album. Her follow up single "The Way That You Love Me" peaked at just number 88.
Despite the initial disapointment in sales, a third single "Straight Up" was released in February 1989 and proved to be Paula's breakthrough to fame and fortune. "Straight Up" went to number one. Boyd by this success, "Forever Your Girl" single was released, and also went to number one. Paula had her third number one hit in September with the single "Cold Hearted." "The Way That You Love" peaked at number 3 in December 1989. In February 1990 Paula had her forth number one with "Opposites Attract" (along with MC Skat Kat). To this day Paula remains one of the few female artists to have four number ones from her debut album.
The 'Forever Your Girl' album sold over ten million copies worldwide, going multi-platinum and making Paula Abdul a house hold name throughout the world. In May 1990, 'Shut Up and Dance', a collection of dance remixes from 'Forever Your Girl' was released as a follow up to its initial success.
Paula’s second album 'Spellbound' was released in 1991, and it appeared that her success would continue where Forever Your Girl left off. The first single from 'Spellbound', 'Rush Rush' went to number one in May 1991 and stayed there for an incredible five weeks. Her second single 'Promise of a New Day' also went to number one in September. Her third single 'Blowing Kisses in the Wind' peaked at number six in February 1992, marking the down point in Paula’s commercial success. However, she continued to make the headlines with her highly publicised marriage to Hollywood Brat Packer, Emilo Estevez.
In 1992 Paula confessed to suffering from the eating disorder bulimia and checked herself into a clinic. She divorced Emilo Estevez in May 1994, citing irreconcilable differences, although they remain friends to this day. Her reputation was damaged when backing vocalist Yvette Marine claimed she, and not Paula, had sung the main vocals on several tracks from the 'Forever Your Girl' album. Paula and Virgin eventually won the case.
By 1995 Paula had successfully overcome her demons and prepared to return to the spotlight. In the summer of ‘95 she released her third album 'Head Over Heels', a bold departure from her first two albums, with a mixture of pop, soul and a little hip-hop. However, a new generation of musicians had overtaken her, and Head Over Heels peaked at just 18 on the Billboard 100. The three singles that were released from Head Over Heels,'Crazy Cool', 'My Love Is For Real' and 'Ain’t Never Gonna You Up' failed to reach the top twenty.
In October 1996 Paula engaged and married Brad Beckerman, heir to the clothing giant, Starter, in a whirlwind romance after they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. Sadly, this was to prove to be yet another false start in Paula’s love life and they divorced just seventeen months later citing irreconcilable differences.
In January 1997 Paula ventured into TV, making her adult acting debut with ABC’s Sunday Night Movie "Touched By Evil", the true story of woman recovering from a brutal rape. Paula went on to make appearances on 'Spin City' and 'The Wayan Bros.' sitcoms. She has also appeared on NBC’s 'Mr. Rock & Roll: The Allen Freed Story', the cable TV movie 'The Waiting Game', NBC's 'Saturday Night Live', and ABC’s 'Sabrina The Teenage Witch'.
Even though she was spending much of her time acting, Paula had not given up on dancing and music. In 1998 she released an aerobic video 'Cardio Dance', a follow up to her critically acclaimed 'Get Up and Dance' video released in 1995.
Paula's long awaited Greatest Hits album was released on March 14, 2000. Also in 2000, Paula co-wrote Kylie Minogue's UK chart-topping single, "Spinning Around." Two years later, she resurfaced as a judge on American Idol, the US version of the phenomenally successful UK series Pop Idol.
Paula Abdul Filmography
Bratz: The Movie (2007)
"Less Than Perfect" .... Kathleen (1 episode, 2005)
- Distractions (2005) TV Episode .... Kathleen
"That's So Raven" .... Undercover Judge (1 episode, 2004)
... aka That's So Raven! (USA: promotional title)
- The Road to Audition (2004) TV Episode .... Undercover Judge
Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story (1999) (TV) .... Denise Walton
... aka Mr. Rock and Roll (USA)
... aka The Big Beat Heat
"The Wayans Bros." .... Sasha (1 episode, 1999)
- Dreamgirl (1999) TV Episode .... Sasha
The Waiting Game (1998) (TV) .... Amy Fuentes
... aka Clair comme le cristal (Canada: French title)
... aka Harlequin's The Waiting Game (Canada: English title: complete title)
Touched by Evil (1997) (TV) .... Ellen Collier
Can't Buy Me Love (1987) (uncredited) .... Dancer
... aka Boy Rents Girl
Junior High School (1978) .... Lori Sherry
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