Paula Abdul

American singer, dancer, choreographer, actress, and television personality

Paula Julie Abdul[2] (əb-DOOL; born June 19, 1962)[3] is an American singer and dancer. She had a string of hit songs and choreographed (planned) many dances for herself and others, including singer-songwriter Janet Jackson. Musically, she is known for her late-1980s number-one singles "Straight Up" and "Cold Hearted", along with the 1990s number-one hit "Opposites Attract". She won a Grammy Award for "Best Music Video – Short Form" for "Opposites Attract". She was a judge on the television show American Idol for its first eight seasons. She has a mezzo-soprano vocal range.

Paula Abdul
Abdul in 2011
Paula Julie Abdul

(1962-06-19) June 19, 1962 (age 61)
Alma materCalifornia State University, Northridge
  • Singer
  • dancer
  • choreographer
  • actress
  • television personality
Years active1978–present
Height152 cm (5 ft 0 in)
  • Emilio Estevez
    (m. 1992; div. 1994)
  • Brad Beckerman
    (m. 1996; div. 1998)
Musical career

Abdul is Jewish.[4]

Discography change

Abdul's record star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Studio albums

Tours and residencies change




Filmography change

Film change

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Junior High School Sherry
1983 Private School Cheerleader [6]
1986 A Smoky Mountain Christmas Choreographer TV movie
1987 Can't Buy Me Love Dancer
1991 L.A. Story Roller Skater
1997 Touched By Evil Ellen Collier TV movie
1998 The Waiting Game Amy Fuentes TV movie
1999 Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The Alan Freed Story Denise Walton TV movie
2002 The Master of Disguise Choreographer
2005 Robots Watch (voice)
Romy and Michele: In the Beginning Herself TV movie
2009 Brüno Herself
2018 A Sister's Secret Detective Tupper TV movie
2020 Impractical Jokers: The Movie Herself
2022 Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Herself

Television change

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Soul Train Herself Episode: "New Edition/Paula Abdul"
Showtime at the Apollo Herself Episode: "Episode #2.5" & "#2.12"
1989 The Tracey Ullman Show Herself Episode: "Episode #3.18"
1990 Going Live! Herself Episode: "Episode #3.30"
1995 Fully Booked Herself Episode: "Episode #1.8"
1996 Muppets Tonight Herself Episode: "Paula Abdul"
Cybill Herself Episode: "Lowenstein's Lament"
The Single Guy Herself Episode: "Affair"
1998 Saturday Night Live Herself Episode: "David Duchovny/Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page"
Spin City Herself Episode: "It Happened One Night"
1999 The Wayans Bros. Sasha Episode: "Dream Girl"
All That Herself Episode: "All That Live! (100th Episode)"
Chicken Soup for the Soul Herself Episode: "The Window/Cookie Thief/Appointment/All Good Things"
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch Herself Episode: "Aging, Not So Gracefully"
2002 Mad TV Herself Episode: "Episode #8.1"
Hollywood Squares Herself/Panelist Recurring Guest
2002–23 American Idol Herself/Judge Main Judge: Seasons 1–8, Guest Judge: Season 19, Guest: Seasons 9 & 12 & 15 & 21
2003 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Herself Episode: "Episode #2.3"
2003-06 E! True Hollywood Story Herself Recurring Guest
2004 Driven Herself Episode: "Paula Abdul"
The Bernie Mac Show Herself Episode: "That Old Mac Magic"
That's So Raven The Host Episode: "The Road to Audition"
2005 Your Total Health Herself Episode: "Episode #2.2"
Fashion in Focus Herself Episode: "Big Money Under the Tents"
Biography Herself Episode: "Paula Abdul"
Dateline NBC Herself Episode: "Episode #13.36"
All of Us Herself Episode: "Hollywood Swinging"
Saturday Night Live Herself Episode: "Johnny Knoxville/System of a Down"
The Contender Herself Episode: "Series Finale"
I Love the '80s 3-D Herself Main Guest
Less Than Perfect Kathleen Episode: "Distractions"
2005-07 Family Guy Herself (voice) Guest: Season 4, Recurring Cast: Season 6
2006 The X Factor Herself Recurring Guest: Season 3
2007 Hey Paula Herself Main Cast
The Friday Night Project Herself/Guest Host Episode: "Episode #5.6"
2008 RAH! Paula Abdul's Cheerleading Bowl Herself/Host Main Host
Hollywood Residential Herself Episode: "The Hotness"
Hotel Babylon Herself Episode: "Episode #3.1"
2009 InFANity Herself Episode: "American Idol"
Howie Do It Herself Episode: "Episode #1.5"
E! Investigates Herself Episode: "Stalkers"
VH1 Divas Herself/Host Main Host
2009–11 Drop Dead Diva Herself Recurring Cast: Seasons 1-3
2011 Live to Dance Herself/Judge Main Judge
The X Factor Herself/Judge Main Judge: Season 1
2012 I Will Survive Herself Episode: "Episode #1.14"
Dancing with the Stars Herself Episode: "Semi-Final Results"
2013-14 RuPaul's Drag Race Herself/Guest Judge Episode: "Reunited" & "Drag Queens of Talk"
2013-16 So You Think You Can Dance Herself/Judge Guest Judge: Season 10, Main Judge: Season 1213
2014 So You Think You Can Dance Australia Herself/Judge Main Judge: Season 4
Neighbours Herself Episode: "Episode #1.6910"
2015 Real Husbands of Hollywood Herself Episode: "Suck My Trick"
Strictly Come Dancing Herself Episode: "Week Four"
2016 Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life Herself Episode: "How to Survive Insufficient Funds"
Lip Sync Battle Herself Episode: "Channing Tatum vs. Jenna Dewan-Tatum"
Bookaboo Herself Episode: "Bookaboo's Barkin' New Year's Eve"
2017 Fresh Off the Boat Holly Episode: "Do You Hear What I Hear?"
2018 Impractical Jokers: After Party Herself Episode: "Bull Shiatsu"
The X Factor Herself/Adviser Episode: "Judges' Houses 1"
2019 America's Got Talent Herself Episode: "Live Results Finale"
2020 Celebrity Ghost Stories Herself Episode: "Paula Abdul"
Impractical Jokers: Dinner Party Herself Episode: "The Backyard Cookout Episode"
2020-21 The Masked Dancer Herself/Panelist Main Panelist
2021 For Real: The Story of Reality TV Herself Episode: "Make It Work"
Secret Celebrity Renovation Herself Episode: "Paula Abdul"
The Movies That Made Us Herself Episode: "Coming to America"
Superstar Herself Episode: "George Michael"
I Can See Your Voice Herself/Panelist Episode: "Holiday Spectacular: Debbie Gibson, Nicole Byer, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Hines, Adrienne Houghton"
The Greatest AtHome Videos Herself Episode: "Let Paula Be the Judge"
2022 Janet Jackson Herself Episode: "Part 2 & 4"
Bling Empire Herself Episode: "Adieu ma Chérie"
American Rescue Dog Show Herself/Judge Main Judge
Made for Love Anydoors Recurring Cast: Season 2
2023 The Muppets Mayhem Herself Episode: "Track 7: Eight Days a Week"
Luann & Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake Herself Episode: "X-Mas in July" & "The Grand Finale"

As Choreographer change

Music Videos
Year Artist Music Video
1984 The Jacksons "Torture"
1986 Janet Jackson "What Have You Done for Me Lately"
"When I Think of You"
ZZ Top "Velcro Fly"
1987 Debbie Gibson "Shake Your Love"
2014 Avon "Check Yourself"
Year Artist Tour
1984 The Jacksons "Victory Tour"
1988 George Michael "The Faith Tour"
Year Title Notes
1987 The Tracey Ullman Show Won an Emmy Award
Can't Buy Me Love
The Running Man
1988 Action Jackson
Coming To America
Big [7][8]
1989 She's Out of Control
Dance to Win
The Karate Kid Part III
1990 17th American Music Awards Won an Emmy for her own performance, "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me"
62nd Academy Awards "Under the Sea" from 'The Little Mermaid' and "Best Costume Design" category
1991 The Doors Val Kilmer's choreographer
1996 Jerry Maguire
1999 American Beauty
2001 Black Knight
Reefer Madness Off-Broadway
2003 Zoe's Dance Moves
2009 American Idol Season 8-Disco Week (Results Show)
2022 1660 Vine

Awards and honors change

Award Year Category Nominated work Result Ref.
American Music Awards 1990 Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist Herself Won [9]
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist Nominated
Favorite Dance Artist Won
Favorite Pop/Rock Album Forever Your Girl Nominated
1991 Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist Herself Nominated
1992 Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist Herself Won [10]
Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist Nominated
Favorite Adult Contemporary Album Spellbound Nominated
Billboard Music Video Awards 1989 Best Female Video "Straight Up" Won [11]
Best New Artists Video Won
Best Editing Won
Best Choreography "Cold Hearted" Won
1990 Best Female Video "Opposites Attract" Nominated [12]
Best Director Nominated
Brit Awards 1990 International Breakthrough Act Herself Nominated
Choreographers Carnival 2013 Lifetime Achievement Herself Honored [13]
Ellis Island Medal of Honor 2019 Herself Honored [14]
GLAAD Gala 2019 Ariadne Getty Ally Herself Won [15]
Grammy Awards 1990 Best Female Pop Vocal Performance "Straight Up" Nominated [16]
1991 Best Short Form Music Video "Opposites Attract" Won
Hollywood Walk of Fame 1991 Herself Honored [17]
Impact Awards 2022 Herself Honored [18]
Industry Dance Awards 2014 Icon Herself Honored [19]
Juno Awards 1990 International Album of the Year Forever Your Girl Nominated
International Single of the Year "Straight Up" Nominated
Los Angeles Music Awards 1992 Pop Album of the Year Spellbound Won
MTV Video Music Awards 1987 Best Choreography in a Video "Nasty" (by Janet Jackson) Won
"When I Think of You" (by Janet Jackson) Nominated
1989 Best Female Video "Straight Up" Won
Best New Artist in a Video Nominated
Best Dance Video Won
Breakthrough Video Nominated
Best Choreography in a Video Won
Best Editing in a Video Won
1990 Best Female Video "Opposites Attract" Nominated
Best Dance Video Nominated
Breakthrough Video Nominated
Best Direction in a Video Nominated
Best Choreography in a Video Nominated
Best Special Effects in a Video Nominated
1991 Best Female Video "Rush Rush" Nominated
1995 Best Dance Video "My Love Is for Real" Nominated
Best Choreography in a Video Nominated
Music Business Association 2017 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Herself Won [20]
National Eating Disorders Association 2005 Profiles in Living Herself Honored [21]
Nevada Ballet Theatre 2007 Woman of the Year Herself Honored [22]
Nevada Equality Awards 2019 Ally Leadership Herself Honored [23]
NewNowNext Awards 2010 Always Next, Forever Now Icon Herself Honored [24]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 1990 Favorite Female Musician/Group Herself Won
1991 Hall of Fame Herself Won [25]
People's Choice Awards 1990 Favorite Female Musical Performer Herself Won
1991 Won
Primetime Emmy Awards 1988 Outstanding Choreography The Tracey Ullman Show Nominated [26]
1989 Won
1990 The 17th Annual American Music Awards Won
2003 Outstanding Reality-Competition Program American Idol Nominated
2004 Nominated
2005 Nominated
2006 Nominated
2007 Nominated
Revel Dance Convention 2021 Revelation Icon Herself Honored
Shorty Awards 2020 Best Celebrity Herself Nominated [28]
Soul Train Music Awards 1990 Best Song of the Year "Straight Up" Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2003 Choice TV: Reality Babe Herself Won [29]
2004 Choice Reality/Variety TV Star - Female Herself Nominated
2005 Choice TV Personality - Female Herself Nominated
YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund AMY Awards 2006 Leadership Herself Won [30]

References change

  1. "Paula Abdul Signs with Mercury Records". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. 1997-10-31. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2015-04-09. Former Virgin Records recording artist Paula Abdul has signed a multirecord deal with Mercury Records
  2. "Paula Abdul". Biography. Archived from the original on 2019-04-15. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  3. "Paula Abdul". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2009-12-07.
  4. "Paula Abdul". Retrieved 2023-02-19.
  5. Grein, Paul (July 2, 1989). "'Club MTV' Hits the Road and It's Live". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
  6. Private School (1983) - IMDb, retrieved 2023-02-22
  7. West, Kelly (2010-12-29). "Live To Dance Preview: Paula Abdul Returns". CinemaBlend. Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  8. "Paula Abdul - IMDb". Retrieved 2021-04-02.
  9. "17th American Music Awards". Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  10. "C + C Tops American Music Awards". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  13. "The 14th Annual Choreographers Carnival Showcases Movie and Televisions Top Choreographers and Dancers. Honoring The Gene Kelly Legacy, Paula Abdul and Surprise Guest J-Lo!". The Official Website of Choreographers Carnival. Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  14. "Paula Abdul, Montel Williams and More Honored at Ellis Island Medals of Honor Ceremony". HOMBRE1. 2019-05-13. Retrieved 2023-09-12.
  15. "Video! Paula Abdul's Heartfelt Speech as She Accepts GLAAD Award". Extra. 2019-09-30. Retrieved 2023-02-12.
  16. "Paula Abdul". The Recording Academy. November 19, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  17. "Paula Abdul". Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  18. "Impact Awards Gala Returns to Miami". Aventura Magazine. 2022-05-10. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  19. PR), Company (EKC) (2014-09-12). "2014 Industry Dance Awards Honoring Nigel Lythgoe, Paula Abdul and More, Rocked the House at Avalon Hollywood on Wednesday Night". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2023-09-12.
  20. "Paula Abdul to Receive Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award at Music Biz 2017 in Nashville". Music Business Association. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  21. "Prize fight". Tulsa World. 2023-09-07. Retrieved 2023-09-12.
  22. Katsilometes, John (2018-11-07). "Remembering our Woman of the Year moment with Paula Abdul". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2023-08-22.
  23. "Paula Abdul, David Parks lauded for their LGBTQ advocacy". Las Vegas Sun. 2019-11-06. Retrieved 2023-09-10.
  24. "Paula Abdul to Receive Always Next, Forever Now Icon Award at Logo's Third Annual 'NewNowNext Awards' 2010". PR Newswire. 2010-06-01. Retrieved 2023-09-12.
  25. "'Kids' Choice Awards' Best Moments, From John Cena and Britney Spears to Michelle Obama". TV Insider. 12 March 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  26. "Paula Abdul". National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  27. "Outstanding Choreography - 1990". National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  28. Mamo, Heran (2020-01-21). "Beyoncé, Zendaya, J Balvin & Lil Nas X Nominated for 2020 Shorty Awards". Billboard. Retrieved 2023-09-16.
  29. "2003 Teen Choice Awards Nominees". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. June 18, 2003. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  30. "Paula Abdul". 2009-08-05. Retrieved 2023-09-10.

Other websites change