Paula Abdul Profile
Paula Abdul Profile Photo

Paula Abdul

Famous As
Pop singer, choreographer
Birth Name
Paula Julie Abdul
Birth Date
Jun 19, 1962
Birth Place
San Fernando, California, USA
Famous As
Pop singer, choreographer
Popular for
American Idol judge
Birth Name
Paula Julie Abdul
Birth Date
Jun 19, 1962
Birth Place
San Fernando, California, USA
Height
5' 2"
Nationality
American
Education
  • Graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1980
  • Attended California State University Northridge, majored in TV and radio broadcasting
Father
Harry Abdul
Mother
Lorraine Rykiss (nee Rykiss)
Sister
Wendy (older)
Spouse
Emilio Estevez (actor-director, 29-Apr-92 - May 1994), Brad Beckerman (sportswear designer, 24-Oct-96 - 1998)
Relation
Arsenio Hall (actor-comedian), J.T. Torregiani (restaurateur, 2007 - April 2008)

There are only of few artists who have been equally recognized, awarded and celebrated "in front of the camera" as well as "behind the camera" and surely Paula Abdul is worthy to be placed among them. It is because she possesses such a great talent which has led her to be an exceptional choreographer and singer in U.S.. Throughout her career, she has been involved in 37 choreography projects of movie, television, video, stage, and live tour. As a singer, she has collected 11 awards with worldwide album sales reaching 40 million records. All of these have proven that she is indeed can be considered as one of the most notable artists and choreographers in the world.

Paula Julie Abdul has involved herself in music and dance from a very young age. Born on June 19, 1962 in San Fernando, California, she had performed dancing and singing in community musical theater groups at 7. During summertime, she also took part in U.S. theatrical productions. Her desire to be a dancer grew stronger after she watched Gene Kelly's musical film entitled "Singing in the Rain." Pursuing her dream, she learned jazz and tap dance when she was barely 8 years old. Her talent and skills were impressive so that she was rewarded a scholarship to develop her dancing ability under Joe Traime at Bell Lewitzky Company. Attending Van Nuys High School, she became a head cheerleader as well as senior class president. She was graduated in 1980 then continued her study at California State University Northridge, majoring in TV and radio broadcasting. It was during this time that she joined an audition held by the Los Angeles Lakers NBA Cheerleading team. With her distinguishing and dynamic style of dancing, she was successfully accepted, even later was pointed to be the head choreographer of the team.

Wanting to focus her attention on her career, Paula decided to give up her study at the university. This decision turned out to be the right one as Jackson Five noticed her talent, thus offered her to choreograph their music video, "Torture." Getting satisfied with her work, the group hired her to be an assistant dance director during their "Victory" live tour. Upon hearing her skills, John McClain of A&R Records asked her to choreograph Janet Jackson's music videos for her debut album, "Control." Paula then was involved in the making of four videos of the album, including "Nasty" which led her to earn her first award for Best Choreography at MTV Video Music Awards in 1986. This achievement undoubtedly brought her to be considered as one of the most promising choreographers in Hollywood. She afterwards was involved in many other music videos of some notable artists of the 80s, such as INXS, George Michael, Debbie Gibson, Prince, and Duran Duran. Not only music videos, she also did the choreography in various movies, like "Dragnet" (1987), "Big" (1988), and "Coming to America" (1988). However, it was Fox TV's "The Tracey Ullman Show" (1987) that marked her career as she brilliantly gained an Emmy Award in the category of Best Choreography in 1989.

Obtaining success and wealth as a prominent choreographer, Paula kept looking for chances to develop another potentiality she possessed. Previously being complimented by Janet Jackson on her vocals, she made up her mind to become a singer. In order to materialize her goal, she eagerly used her savings to record a demo tape. When it reached Virgin Records America, the label got impressed, thus offered her a recording contract. In June 1988, she finally released her debut album entitled "Forever Your Girl." After only making a little sound in the beginning, the album's sale scored a significant escalation up to seven million copies in U.S. only. Moreover, it wonderfully reached first rank at The Billboard 200. Four out of the album's 10 tracks were also the number one hits, namely "Straight Up", "Cold Hearted", "Forever Your Girl," and "Opposites Attract." The latter even brought her to acquire a Grammy Award for Best Music Video-Short Form in 1991. This superb attainment surely established Paula as the new American pop-dance queen while brought her to embrace huge fame and commercial success. Following this glorious achievement, a collection of dance remixes from "Forever Your Girl" entitled "Shut Up and Dance: Dance Mixes" was released in May 1990.

In 1991, Paula's next album, "Spellbound," came up and proved to produce another sweet success even tough it could not surpass the greatness of her first album. Two singles from the album entitled "Rush Rush" and "The Promise of A New Day" hit the top spot at Billboard Hot 100. In the meantime, three other tracks were included in the top 20 of the chart. As for the album itself, it magnificently rose to the highest position at The Billboard 200 within a month after being released. Lasting for 2 weeks as the number one hit, "Spellbound" sold for 6 million copies around the world. This undoubtedly confirmed that Paula was still able to create a buzz in the music industry despite the public assumption which considered her as merely a one-time superstar. 1992 was a bittersweet year for this striking singer as she encountered two huge problems while at the same time celebrating her marriage with Emilio Estevez, a notable Hollywood actor and director. The first was her conflict with a backup singer named Yvette Marine, who declared that she was the one who had sung several tracks from "Forever Your Girl" album. However, this confrontation was solved as Paula, along with Virgin Records, won the court case. The second one was her shocking confession that she suffered from bulimia since 1981, thus announced her efforts to recover by entering a clinic in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She therefore decided to withdraw from the spotlight, taking a break for a while from her singing career.

After a four-year hiatus, Paula returned to the business by launching her fourth album entitled "Head over Heels" in June 1995. Unfortunately, the album failed to repeat the same great success as the previous ones. It only moved to the 18th rank at Billboard 200 and none of its tracks reached the top 20 of Billboard Hot 100 Chart. She then turned her attention to the body exercise business. In the same year, her aerobic video, "Get Up and Dance" came up and was critically acclaimed. Having divorce from Emilio Estevez in 1994, she remarried with the heir of Starter, a giant clothing manufacture, named Brad Beckerman by October 1996. To her dismal, this second marriage merely lasted seventeen months for they separated in 1998. However, Paula kept going on. She produced another aerobic video entitled "Cardio Dance" and built her own company, "Co Dance." In the year of 2000, a compilation of her hit singles from her three former albums was released with the title of "The Greatest Hits." Two years later, she surprisingly appeared as one of the primary judges of Fox TV's famous reality show of talent competition, "American Idol." Being well known as a compassionate judge, she has been joining the show for four seasons by 2005.

During half year of 2005, Paula once more faced distressing situation in her life. On March 25, she was condemned to two years probation for a hit-and-run accident on a California freeway. By the next month, she revealed a terrible admittance to People Magazine that she possessed a rare syndrome called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which caused her to behave erratically odd sometimes. In May, she was reported to have an affair with Corey Clark, an American Idol's contestant of the second season. Besides her profession as choreographer, singer, and judge of talent show, Paula once has developed a career in acting. She first starred in "Junior High School" when she was only 16 years old. Her other appearances on screens including "Cybill" (1995), "The Single Guy" (1995), "Spin City" (1996), "Touched By Evil" (1997), and "The Waiting Game" (1998). In addition, she also ventured into jewelry and clothing business by establishing "Innergy" and "Skirtz." The latter consists of two lines that are 'Cheer' and 'Dance' outfit for adolescent and young girls.

In 2007, after becoming single for a period of time, Paula got back in the dating saddle again, went public with her new boyfriend restaurateur J.T. Torregiani.