Paula Julie Abdul (/ˈæbduːl/; born June 19, 1962) is an American recording artist, 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 for fifth among the female solo performers who have reached #1 there. She won a Grammy for "Best Music Video - Short Form" for "Opposites Attract" and twice won the "Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography".
In 2009 and 2010, Abdul appeared in several episodes of Lifetime Television's hit series Drop Dead Diva, a comedy about a shallow model whose soul resurfaces in the body of a brilliant, plus-size and recently deceased attorney, Jane. On the show, Abdul played herself as "Judge Paula," a figment of Jane’s subconscious.
In November 2010, Abdul launched and co-founded AuditionBooth.com, a website that allows aspiring talents to connect with casting directors, producers, and managers.
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) Abdul said that unlike American Idol, her new show is less about "competition" and more about "celebration." After its first season of seven weekly shows, it was cancelled by CBS.
2011-present: The X Factor
On May 8, 2011, it was announced that Abdul would join Simon Cowell on the first season of the American version of The X Factor. The judging panel will consist of Abdul, Cowell, music executive L.A. Reid and former Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger. The series will premiere on 21 September 2011.