Paula Julie Abdul is an American singer, dancer, choreographer, actress, and television personality who rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s with her chart-topping pop hits and award-winning music videos. She is also known for her role as a judge on various reality shows, such as American Idol, The X Factor, and The Masked Dancer.
We’d be seeing Paula Abdul’s biography, date of birth, age, early life, family, wife, children, entertainment career, net worth, houses, cars, social media handles, and more.
Full name: Paula Julie Abdul
Date of birth: 19th June, 1962
Age: 61 years (2023)
Parents: Harry Abdul, Lorraine (Rykiss)
Spouse(s): Emilio Estevez (m. 1992; div. 1994), Brad Beckerman (m. 1996; div. 1998)
Education: California State University, Northridge
Occupation: Singer, actress, dancer, choreographer TV personality
Genres: R&B, dance, pop, new jack swing
Paula Abdul Biography and Early Life
Paula Abdul was born on June 19, 1962, in San Fernando, California. She is the youngest of two daughters of Harry Abdul, a Syrian Jewish immigrant who worked as a livestock trader, and Lorraine Rykiss, a Canadian Jewish concert pianist who emigrated from Minnedosa, Manitoba. Abdul has an older sister named Wendy. Abdul is Jewish and has ancestors from Russia, Ukraine, Syria, and Brazil.
Abdul began taking dance lessons at the age of eight, inspired by Gene Kelly in the film Singin’ in the Rain. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was senior class president and head cheerleader. After graduating in 1980, she started college at California State University, Northridge, majoring in TV and radio. However, she dropped out after a year to pursue her dancing career.
Abdul’s career started when she auditioned for the Los Angeles Lakers cheerleading squad at the age of 18 and was selected out of 700 candidates. She soon became the head choreographer for the Lakers Girls and created routines for them and other NBA teams. She also choreographed music videos for artists such as Janet Jackson, Duran Duran, and The Jacksons.
In 1987, Abdul was discovered by Virgin Records and signed a recording contract. She released her debut album, Forever Your Girl, in 1988, which spawned four number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100: Straight Up, Forever Your Girl, Cold Hearted, and Opposites Attract. The album sold over 12 million copies worldwide and earned Abdul a Grammy Award for Best Music Video for Opposites Attract.
Abdul’s second album, Spellbound, was released in 1991 and also produced four top-ten hits: Rush Rush, The Promise of a New Day, Blowing Kisses in the Wind, and Vibeology. The album sold over 7 million copies worldwide and earned Abdul another Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Rush Rush.
Abdul’s third album, Head over Heels, was released in 1995 and featured the singles My Love Is for Real, Crazy Cool, and Ain’t Never Gonna Give You Up. The album was less successful than her previous ones, selling only 3 million copies worldwide and receiving mixed reviews from critics. Abdul also faced personal and professional challenges during this period, such as a car accident, a divorce, an eating disorder, and a lawsuit from a backup singer who claimed that Abdul had used her vocals on some of her songs.
Abdul took a hiatus from music and focused on her acting and choreography career. She appeared in films such as The Waiting Game, Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Alan Freed Story, and Touched by Evil. She also choreographed the 1996 Academy Awards, the 1998 American Music Awards, and the 1999 Super Bowl halftime show.
In 2002, Abdul returned to the spotlight as one of the original judges on the popular reality show American Idol, alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. She became known for her positive and supportive comments to the contestants, as well as her occasional clashes with Cowell. She also released a compilation album, Greatest Hits, in 2000, and a remix album, Greatest Hits: Straight Up!, in 2007.
Abdul left American Idol in 2009 after eight seasons and joined The X Factor as a judge in 2011, reuniting with Cowell. However, she was fired after one season due to low ratings. She then became a judge on Live to Dance in 2011, Dancing with the Stars in 2012, So You Think You Can Dance in 2013, and The Masked Dancer in 2020. She also released a single, Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow, in 2008, and a documentary, Paula Abdul: Straight Up, in 2016.
Abdul has been married and divorced twice. She married actor Emilio Estevez in 1992 and divorced him in 1994. She then married clothing designer Brad Beckerman in 1996 and divorced him in 1998. She has also dated singer John Stamos, actor J.T. Torregiani, and businessman Jeff Bratton.
Abdul has suffered from several health issues throughout her life, such as chronic pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, bulimia, and a rare neurological disorder called Brachial Plexus Injury. She has also been involved in several controversies, such as allegations of drug and alcohol abuse, a hit-and-run incident, and a stalking case by a former American Idol contestant.
Abdul is an animal lover and a vegetarian. She has four dogs and supports various animal rights and welfare organizations, such as PETA, ASPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society. She is also a philanthropist and supports causes such as breast cancer awareness, AIDS research, and children’s education.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Abdul has an estimated net worth of $30 million as of 2021. She has earned most of her wealth from her music, choreography, and television career. She has also endorsed brands such as Coca-Cola, Reebok, LA Gear, and Avon.