Paula Abdul
496px-Paula Abdul 2011 2.jpg
Paula Abdul, here shown on the The X Factor TV show in 2011 appeared as Sasha in the saason 5 episode titled "Dream Girl".


Paula Julie Abdul


(1962-06-19) June 19, 1962 (age 58)

Appearance on The Wayans Bros.

as Sasha in the episode titled Dream Girl in season 4


Singer, songwriter, choreographer, dancer, television personality

Years active =


Musical genre

Pop/contemporary R&B, dance music

Music labels recorded for

Virgin Records (1987–1996)
Mercury Records(1997)[1]
Concord (2008)
Filament (2009–present)

Official website

Wayans Bros Long script logo-1062px.png

Paula Julie Abdul (born June 19, 1962)[2] appeared on The Wayans Bros. during the fourth season as Sasha in the episode titled Dream Girl.

Biography[edit | edit source]

A multitalented entertainer Paula wears multiple hats in the entertainment industry as a singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality.

In the 1980s, Abdul rose from cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers to highly sought-after choreographer at the height of the music video era before scoring a string of pop music-R&B hits in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her with Diana Ross for sixth among the female solo performers who have reached No. 1 there.[3] She won a Grammy for "Best Music Video – Short Form" for "Opposites Attract" and twice won the "Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography".

After her initial period of success, she suffered a series of setbacks in her professional and personal life, until she found renewed fame and success in the early years of the 21st century as a judge on the television series American Idol for eight years, before departing from the show. She then starred on CBS's short-lived television series Live to Dance, which lasted one season in 2011, and was subsequently a judge on the first season of American version of The X Factor with her former American Idol co-judge Simon Cowell, which premiered on September 21, 2011.[4]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Abdul was born in San Fernando, California to Jewish parents. Abdul's father, Harry Abdul, was born in Aleppo, Syria, raised in Brazil, and subsequently immigrated to the United States;[5] her mother, Lorraine M. (née Rykiss), is originally from Minnedosa, Manitoba in Canada with ancestors from Russia and Ukraine,[6][7] and Abdul derives Canadian citizenship through her. She has a sister named Wendy, who is seven years her senior. In 1978, she graduated from Van Nuys High School and was voted girl with the funniest laugh.

An avid dancer, Abdul was inspired towards a show business career by Gene Kelly in the classic film Singin' in the Rain as well as Debbie Allen, Fred Astaire, and Bob Fosse.[8]

Abdul began taking dance lessons at an early age in ballet, Jazz, and Tap. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was a cheerleader and an honor student. At 15, she received a scholarship to a dance camp near Palm Springs, California, and in 1980 appeared in a low-budget Independent musical film, Junior High School.

Abdul studied broadcasting at the California State University at Northridge. During her freshman year, she was selected from a pool of 700 candidates for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team—the famed [[Laker Girls. Within three months, she became head choreographer.Template:Citation needed Six months later, she left the university to focus on her choreography and dancing career.Template:Citation needed

American Idol[edit | edit source]

In 2002, Abdul appeared as one of three judges for the reality television music competition show American Idol. Abdul, along with fellow judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson, evaluated thousands of amateur contestants in their ability to sing. Abdul won praise as a sympathetic and compassionate judge. She seemed especially kind compared to fellow judge Simon Cowell, who was often blunt in his appraisals of the contestants' performances. When she realized that Cowell's over-the-top judging style was heartbreaking for many young contestants, Abdul was so horrified that she considered leaving the show. Although their differences often resulted in extremely heated on-air exchanges and confrontations, Cowell says he played a major role in convincing Abdul not to leave the show.[9]

While serving as a judge on "American Idol," Abdul accepted a second assignment as reporter for Entertainment Tonight.

In March 2006, Fox announced that Abdul had signed to stay on American Idol as a judge for at least three more years. Later that year, fellow American Idol judge Simon Cowell invited her to be a guest judge at some of the early auditions for the third series of his similar UK talent show The X Factor. Abdul was present at the initial audition of the eventual winner, Leona Lewis.

2010–present: Live to Dance and The X Factor USA[edit | edit source]

In January 2010, Abdul presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to choreographer Julie McDonald at the 11th Anniversary show of the The Carnival: Choreographer’s Ball.[10]

In November 2010, Abdul launched and co-founded, a website that allows aspiring talents to connect with casting directors, producers, and managers.[11]

Abdul kicked off 2011 by serving as lead judge, executive producer, creative partner, mentor and coach on CBS' new dancing competition, Live to Dance (formerly Got to Dance)[12] Abdul said that unlike American Idol, her new show is less about "competition" and more about "celebration."[13] After its first season of seven weekly shows, it was cancelled by CBS.[14]

On May 8, 2011, it was announced that Abdul would rejoin Simon Cowell on the first season of the American version of The X Factor.[4] The judging panel consisted of Abdul, Cowell, music executive Antoion "L.A." Reid, and former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger (who replaced Cheryl Cole). The series premiered on September 21, 2011. She was the mentor for the "Groups" category. She was called by X Factor producers about the news of her category whilst at home in Los Angeles, California. During the Judges' Houses stage of the competition, Abdul was aided by guest judge Pharrell Williams in Santa Barbara, California. Abdul's contestants were all eliminated from the competition, her final act Lakoda Rayne were eliminated by the public vote on week five of the Live Shows. They were the Groups category's most successful act.

In January 2012, Abdul announced that she would not be returning as a judge for the show's second season.[15] Fellow season one judge Nicole Scherzinger and season one host Steve Jones were also axed from the show that month.[16]

On October 15, 2012, Abdul served as a guest judge during week four of the All-Stars version of Dancing with the Stars.[17]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Paula Abdul Signs with Mercury Records. Rolling Stone (1997-10-31). Retrieved on 2008-12-09.
  2. Beth, Mary (1962-06-19). Paula Abdul – LoveToKnow Celebrity. Retrieved on 2011-07-03.
  3. Bronson, Frea. "Chart Beat: T.I., James Taylor, Kellie Pickler", Billboard, 2008-10-09. Retrieved on 2009-03-18.  Template:Dead link
  4. 4.0 4.1 Beloni, Matthew. "Paula Abdul Closes Deal to Join Simon Cowell as 'X Factor' Judge", The Hollywood Reporter, 2011-05-08. Retrieved on 2011-05-08. 
  5. Itamar Eichner. "Israeli minister, American Idol",, 2006-11-17. Retrieved on 2006-11-17. 
  6. Descendants of Unknown RykissTemplate:Dead link
  7. Descendants of Unknown RykissTemplate:Dead link
  8. A&E Biography
  9. Cowell, S (2003): I don't mean to be rude, but..., p. 116–117, Random House. ISBN 978-0-7679-1741-4
  10. Dance Plug. Carnival Choreographer’s Ball 11th Anniversary. Dance Bloggers.
  11. What We Do at Audition Booth web site. Retrieved on 2011-07-03.
  12. "Paula Abdul Lands a New TV Gig!", 
  13. "Paula Abdul takes on her 'extended family' and American Idol" February 6, 2011, USA Weekend
  14. [1] Live To Dance canceled, Retrieved February 15, 2011
  15. Paula Abdul confirms 'X Factor' exit
  16. 'X Factor' shake-up: Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger out
  17. Paula Abdul to guest judge on 'Dancing with the Stars'

External links[edit | edit source]

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