Paula Julie Abdul (born June 19, 1962) is an American singer, dancer, choreographer, actress, and television personality. She began her career as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers at the age of 18 and later became the head choreographer for the Laker Girls, where she was discovered by The Jacksons. After choreographing music videos for Janet Jackson, Abdul became a choreographer at the height of the music video era and soon thereafter she was signed to Virgin Records. Her debut studio album Forever Your Girl (1988) became one of the most successful debut albums at that time, selling seven million copies in the United States and setting a record for the most number-one singles from a debut album on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: "Straight Up", "Forever Your Girl", "Cold Hearted", and "Opposites Attract". Her second album Spellbound (1991) scored her two more Billboard Hot 100 chart toppers: "Rush Rush" and "The Promise of a New Day". Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her with Ariana Grande and Diana Ross for seventh among the female solo performers who have topped the chart.
Abdul was one of the original judges on the television series American Idol from 2002 to 2009, and has since appeared as a judge on The X Factor, Live to Dance, So You Think You Can Dance, and The Masked Dancer. She has received choreography credits in numerous films, including Can't Buy Me Love (1987), The Running Man (1987), Coming to America (1988), Action Jackson (1988), The Doors (1991), Jerry Maguire (1996), and American Beauty (1999). She has received 17 MTV Video Music Award nominations, winning five, as well as receiving the Grammy Award for Best Music Video for "Opposites Attract" in 1991. She received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography twice for her work on The Tracey Ullman Show, and her own performance at the American Music Awards in 1990. Abdul was honored with her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and is the first entertainer to be honored with the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards' Hall of Fame Award.