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Paula Abdul Biography

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Birth Name(s) : Paula Julie Abdul Date of Birth: N/A
Status:  Single Partner:
Profession: Singer
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Full Paula Abdul Biography
Abdul was born in San Fernando, California, to Harry Abdul, who once worked as a livestock trader and owns a sand and gravel business in California, and Lorraine Rykiss, a former concert pianist who once worked as an assistant to film director Billy Wilder. Abdul's father was a Sephardi Syrian Jew who immigrated with his family to Brazil and then to the U.S. while her mother is also Jewish and originally from Saint Boniface, an area of Winnipeg, Canada.

Abdul began dance lessons around the age of eight and showed a natural talent for it. She attended Van Nuys High School where she was on the cheerleading squad, and was an honors student. At 15, she received a scholarship to a dance camp near Palm Springs.

Abdul enrolled at California State University, Northridge to study broadcasting. During her first year she tried out for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers, the famed Laker Girls, and was selected from a pool of 700. Within three months she became head choreographer. She quit school six months later.

In film, Abdul choreographed the dance sequences in the films Coming to America, The Running Man (film) and American Beauty, the giant keyboard sequence involving Tom Hanks’ character in Big, and The King's touchdown celebration, as seen in a string of popular Burger King television commercials that aired during the 2005-2006 NFL season.

In 1987 Abdul used her savings to make a singing demo. Although her voice was relatively untrained, her exceptional dancing proved marketable to the visually oriented, MTV-driven pop music industry.

It was around this time when Paula's personal life began to cloud her career. In 1993 she helped her sister Wendy overcome an over-eating disorder. Abdul was eventually caught and she herself admitted to the disorder bulimia and checked herself into a clinic to overcome the self-esteem issues triggering her bulimia. Her reputation was also damaged when backing vocalist Yvette Marine claimed she sang on the Forever Your Girl album, not Paula. The case started in August, and lasted one month. Eventually Paula and Virgin records won the case. That same year Paula filed for divorce from Emilio Estevez. The divorce was finalized in 1994, but both remain friends to this day.

By 1995 Paula Abdul had successfully overcome her obstacles and prepared to return to the spotlight with her new album Head Over Heels. The album received mixed reviews, and its singles became modest radio hits. "My Love Is for Real", "Crazy Cool", and "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up" were singles from the album. The first single off the album, "My Love Is for Real", featured a fusion of R&B and traditional Middle Eastern instruments, and was sung together with Yemenite-Israeli singer Ofra Haza. Its accompanying Lawrence of Arabia-inspired music video was played in theaters across the world as a preface to the film Clueless. It was a hit in dance clubs (peaking at #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart), but the single stalled at #28 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart; still the single was still able to reach the Top 40, and it was also nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards. The second single, "Crazy Cool", was accompanied by a music video wherein Abdul is seen riding a mechanical bull and spraying Champagne over her breasts, the song became a hit on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart), but only able to crack the Top 40 in the U.S. "Ain't Never Gonna Give You Up" wasn't able to chart in the Hot 100.

To this day Head Over Heels has sold close to 5 million copies worldwide, however Abdul's album sales were slow in America.

In 2000, Abdul’s Paula Abdul: Greatest Hits CD was released by Virgin Records (with whom Abdul was already no longer affiliated). It featured all of the "hit" singles as well as other noteworthy tracks. The song "Bend Time Back 'Round" had previously been heard only on the 1992 soundtrack for the hit television series Beverly Hills 90210. The album was not a commercial success, however it managed to sell more than one million copies worldwide.

In 2000, Abdul co-wrote "Spinning Around", a dance-pop track intended to be the lead single off her new album. The album never materialized and "Spinning Around" was given to Kylie Minogue as a single. The song became highly successful and re-launched Minogue's career, as it was intended to do for Abdul, and reached #1 in numerous countries.

During the 3rd season of the British reality TV competition The X Factor in 2006, Abdul appeared as a guest judge during the early audition rounds of the programme.

Bravo announced a reality television series following Abdul through her day-to-day life, called Hey Paula. The series is produced by Scott Sternberg Productions and debuted on June 28, 2007. Paula's behavior as depicted on the show has been described as 'erratic'.

Allegations arose again in January 2007 when videos circulated on the Internet of Abdul appearing to sway in her chair and slur her speech during a set of interviews. Abdul's publicist attributed this to fatigue and technical difficulties during the recording of the interviews.

American Idol  · Under My Spell Tour  · Hey Paula  · Emilio Estevez  · Corey Clark
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