Paula Julie Abdul (born June 19, 1962) is a [[TheLongList former cheerleader, pop singer, record producer, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality]]. She was discovered as her being a famous Lakers cheerleader, and soon became a sought-after choreographer in TheEighties. Soon she took up singing too, and became a pop idol. Famous for her dancing skills and unique videos in the late eighties and early nineties, she got two multi-platinum albums, six number one hits on the Billboard top 100, and won a Grammy for her choreography. However her career sank after battling an eating disorder and having a long string of professional and personal struggles.

In 2002 she became a judge on ''Series/AmericanIdol'' [[PowerTrio alongside Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell.]] She's famous for being TheHeart of the judges, finding something positive to say about even the worst of performances. Because of her... ''quirky'' mannerisms, people speculate when she's drunk. After eight years of judging, she's decided to move on and was replaced by Creator/EllenDeGeneres.

She reunited with [[VitriolicBestBuds Simon]] for the US version of ''Series/TheXFactor'' in 2011, alongside Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid. This announcement was met with quite a lot of cheering. She left the show after it's first season.

!!Tropes related to her:

* AnimatedMusicVideo: "Opposites Attract"
* BeautyMark: Although you can't see it in the picture above, as it's on her left cheek.
* BreakUpSong / YourCheatingHeart: "Straight Up" and "Cold Hearted Snake" were both songs about unfaithful men, the former presumably pre-dating a breakup and the latter being a post-breakup warning to other girls about the ex.
* TheCameo: ''Film/LAStory''.
** She appears in a couple of Music/JanetJackson videos that she choreographed, including [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9uizdKZAGE&list=UU_f09Vv3Z3OpaL_SSalb36g "What Have You Done For Me Lately"]] and "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr7QMQwrioU Nasty]]".
** Also Music/MichaelJackson 's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3V-7DEAgdc "Liberian Girl"]], but that music video is chock full of cameos.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Famously on ''Series/AmericanIdol''.
* TheDeadRiseToAdvertise: In a Diet Coke commercial. She danced with Creator/GeneKelly (1912-1996)[[note]]He wasn't dead yet, but was obviously very old. Interestingly Gene Kelly was actually friends with Paula in RealLife too.[[/note]] and [[Creator/MarxBrothers Groucho Marx]] (1890-1977). Creator/CaryGrant (1904-1986) poured her a Diet Coke when she was finished.
* DuetOfDifferences: "Opposites Attract" is about how different she is from her "lover" (MC Skat Kat), yet they love one another anyway.
* TheEighties
* FluffyFashionFeathers: One of her outfits in the "Rush" video is a [[FurBikini black bra trimmed with feathers]].
* HardDrinkingPartyGirl
* TheHeart: Of the ''Series/AmericanIdol'' judges.
* LoveMartyr: "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" is about a singer whose lover clearly isn't very committed to the relationship.
* NobodyThinksItWillWork: "OppositesAttract"
* OddFriendship / IntergenerationalFriendship: Following Paula Abdul's release of "Opposites Attract", Creator/GeneKelly took notice of the music video and enjoyed it, later asking Paula over to his place for tea. The pair continued to meet for tea once per week until his death.
* OneLetterTitle: "U".
* OppositesAttract: ..."Opposites Attract"
* PomPomGirl
* PowerTrio: With Simon and Randy on ''Series/AmericanIdol''. She's the Id.
* Music/{{Prince}}: Donated a really old song of his, "U," for one of Paula's albums.
* RogerRabbitEffect: In the video for "Opposites Attract" Paula famously duets with MC Skat Kat, a cartoon cat.
* ShoutOut:
** The video for "Cold Hearted" is an homage to ''Film/AllThatJazz''.
** The [[RogerRabbitEffect "Opposites Attract" video]] is one to Gene Kelly's dance with [[WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry Jerry]] in ''Film/AnchorsAweigh''.
* VisualCompression: In "Promise Of A New Day".