Paula Julie Abdul (born June 19, 1962) is a former cheerleader, pop singer, record producer, dancer, choreographer, actor and television personality. She was discovered as her being a famous Lakers cheerleader, and soon became a sought-after choreographer in The '80s. 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 American Idol alongside Randy Jackson and Simon Cowell. She's famous for being The Heart 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 decided to move on and was replaced by Ellen DeGeneres.
She reunited with Simon for the US version of The X Factor in 2011, alongside Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid. This announcement was met with quite a lot of cheering. She left the show after its first season.
- Forever Your Girl (1988)
- Spellbound (1991)
- Head over Heels (1995)
Tropes related to her:
- Animated Music Video: "Opposites Attract"
- Beauty Mark: Although you can't see it in the picture above, as it's on her left cheek.
- Break Up Song: "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.
- The Cameo:
- Cloudcuckoolander: Famously on American Idol.
- The Dead Rise to Advertise: In a Diet Coke commercial. She danced with Gene Kelly (1912-1996)note and Groucho Marx (1890-1977). Cary Grant (1904-1986) poured her a Diet Coke when she was finished.
- Duet of Differences: "Opposites Attract" is about how different she is from her "lover" (MC Skat Kat), yet they love one another anyway.
- The '80s
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: One of her outfits in the "Rush" video is a black bra trimmed with feathers.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl
- The Heart: Of the American Idol judges.
- Love Martyr: "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" is about a singer whose lover clearly isn't very committed to the relationship.
- Nobody Thinks It Will Work: "Opposites Attract"
- Noodle Incident: Paula has repeatedly stated that her career slowed in the 90s due to injuries from a plane crash, but nobody can quite pin down what actually happened.
- Odd Friendship / Intergenerational Friendship: Following Paula Abdul's release of "Opposites Attract", Gene Kelly 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.
- One-Letter Title: "U".
- Opposites Attract: ..."Opposites Attract"
- Pom-Pom Girl
- Power Trio: With Simon and Randy on American Idol. She's the Id.
- Prince: Donated a really old song of his, "U," for one of Paula's albums.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: In the video for "Opposites Attract" Paula famously duets with MC Skat Kat, a cartoon cat.
- Visual Compression: In "Promise Of A New Day".