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Paula Abdul

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Bio

In the wake of Madonna's success, many dance-pop divas filled the charts, but out of them all, Paula Abdul was the only one who sustained a career. The former L.A. Lakers cheerleader and choreographer scored her first hit in 1989, when "Straight Up" shot to Billboard's number one spot, becoming the first of four U.S. chart-toppers from her 1988 debut, Forever Your Girl; the others were "Forever Your Girl," "Cold Hearted," and "Opposites Attract," each earning a gold certification from the RIAA. This success laid the groundwork for her second act as a judge on American Idol, the televised singing competition that began in 2002 and kept Abdul in the spotlight throughout the decade. Abdul began to make inroads in pop music when she was hired as an assistant dance director on the Jacksons' Victory tour, which led to a job choreographing Janet Jackson's videos for Control. Abdul's work on Jackson's videos helped make the album a hit, making her a sought-after choreographer. After working on The Tracy Ullman Show and videos for ZZ Top, Duran Duran, and the Pointer Sisters, Abdul began a recording career, releasing her debut album, Forever Your Girl, in 1988. The first two singles drawn from the record -- "Knocked Out" and "The Way That You Love Me" -- didn't crack the Top 40, but the release of "Straight Up" at the end of the year made her a superstar. Staying at the top of the charts for three weeks, "Straight Up" began a string of six number one singles (with "The Way That You Love Me" re-charting at number three in 1989) that ran through the summer of 1991. The last two of those singles, "Rush Rush" and "The Promise of a New Day," both came from her second album, Spellbound (a remix collection called Shut Up and Dance bridged the gap between the two albums in 1990). Released in the summer of 1991, Spellbound wound up going triple platinum and it racked up three additional hits: "Blowing Kisses in the Wind," which peaked at number six, "Vibeology," and "Will You Marry Me?" After a three-year hiatus, Abdul released her third album, Head Over Heels, in the summer of 1995. Although it wound up going gold, its only Top 40 hit was "My Love Is for Real," and Abdul quietly retreated from singing, working in television and film; notably, she choreographed the cheerleading sequences in Sam Mendes' Acadamy Award-winning 1999 film, American Beauty. Abdul returned to music in 2000 as the co-author of "Spinning Around," a hit for Kylie Minogue. Debuting at the top of the charts in Australia and the U.K., the single effectively relaunched Minogue's career. Abdul returned to the spotlight in 2002, when she became one of the three judges on American Idol. Cast as the voice of positivity next to the sour Simon Cowell and straight shooter Randy Jackson, Abdul's popularity surged. Apart from a hits collection called Greatest Hits: Straight Up!, an appearance on the Randy Jackson single "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" in 2008, and her 2009 solo single "I'm Just Here for the Music," Abdul didn't release a full-length album during this decade. She left American Idol in 2009 but she didn't leave reality TV behind. In 2011, she was a mentor and coach on CBS' show Live to Dance and also reteamed with Cowell for a season of the American version of The X-Factor. Next up was a slot as a judge on an All-Star Dancing with the Stars and, in 2013, she moved over to So You Think You Can Dance, which was the gateway to appearing on the Australian version of that show later that year. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Albums by
Paula Abdul

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Forever Your Girl

    11 songs

    On Air

    Spellbound

    1 song

    On Air

    Straight Up (Karaoke Version)

    1 song

    On Air

    I'm Just Here for the Music

    1 song

    On Air

    Dance Like There's No Tomorrow [Remix]

    1 song

    On Air

    Opposites Attract

    18 songs

    On Air

    Greatest Hits: Straight Up!

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Greatest Hits

    8 songs

    On Air

    Shut Up and Dance: Dance Mixes

    14 songs

    On Air

    Head Over Heels

    22 songs

    On Air

    Ultimate Voice Coach

    1 song

    On Air

    Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

    4 songs

    On Air

    My Love Is for Real

    5 songs

    On Air

    Paula Abdul


Top Songs by
Paula Abdul

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   Straight Up
  3.   Cold Hearted
  4.   Opposites Attract
  5.   Forever Your Girl
  6.   Rush, Rush
  7.   The Way That You Love Me
  8.   Knocked Out
  9.   The Promise of a New Day
  10.   Blowing Kisses in the Wind
  11.   Go Away Little Girl
  12.   So In Love
  13.   What Have They Done To My Song Ma
  14.   Crazy Cool
  15.   Daydream
  16.   Cast Your Fate To The Wind
  17.   Ruby Tuesday
  18.   Medley Mix (1990)
  19.   Crazy Love
  20.   Next to You
  21.   Spellbound
  22.   My Love Is For Real
  23.   Suddenly You Love Me
  24.   Michelle
  25.   One Day At A Time
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Paula Abdul

    On Air

    MTV A-Z

    On Air

    Janet Jackson: DNA

    On Air

    '80s #1 Hits

    On Air

    '80s Hits

    On Air

    '90s #1 Hits

    On Air

    Girl Power

    On Air

    RockTheBorder

    On Air

    Madonna: DNA

    On Air

    Great Songs You Forgot

    On Air

    Prince: DNA

    On Air

    Soft Hits

    On Air

    Classic Hits

    On Air

    Nothing But Love Songs

    On Air

    '90s Hits

    On Air

    Disco Deep Dive


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