Synopsis of Pop Music
You gotta remember,
I'm forever your girl,
Baby forever...and ever and ever...”
Scores of singing and dancing divas followed in the wake of Madonna and Janet Jackson’s success, but few were as long-lasting and talented as Paula Abdul. This former ‘Laker Girl’ made the transition from superstar choreographer to singing sensation at the end of the 80’s with a string of #1 dance-pop singles. She also used her skills as a dancer and choreographer to set new standards for fancy footwork in music videos.
Paula Abdul began her show business career as a dancer. She became one of the world-famous ‘Laker Girls’ as a teen and soon progressed to being the choreographer for this famous cheerleading squad. Before long, Abdul was an in-demand choreographer for music videos, working with artists like Janet Jackson, Duran Duran and Debbie Gibson. In 1987, she decided to become a singer and financed her own demo recording. It was strong enough to get her a recording contract, and she released her debut album, Forever Your Girl, in the summer of 1988.
Forever Your Girl became a big hit early in 1989 thanks to the success of “Straight Up,” a bouncy dance track that overflowed with groove and attitude. It shot to #1 on the charts and was followed by two more #1 hits in “Forever Your Girl” and “Cold Hearted.” Like “Straight Up,” they were filled with catchy hooks and dance beats. All three benefited from lush music videos that gave Abdul plenty of room to show off her dancing skills. These influential videos won her four spaceman statues at the MTV Video Awards for both her singing and her choreography. That year, Abdul also went to #3 with “The Way That You Love Me.”
“Opposites Attract,” which featured guest rapper Derrick Delite, went to #1 in early 1990 and made Paula Abdul the first female artist to have four #1 hits from her debut album. “Opposites” was also notable for its memorable video, which featured Paula dancing alongside an animated partner named 'MC Skat Kat.' She also continued to work as a choreographer and was responsible for the dance numbers at that year’s Academy Awards Ceremony. She also released Shut Up And Dance, an album of dance remixes that went Top-10.
In 1991, Paula Abdul released her second album, Spellbound. It quickly went to #1, making her the first artist of the 90’s to score two chart-topping albums. She was equally successful with the singles from this album: The hard-grooving “Rush Rush” and the breezy “The Promise Of A New Day” both became #1 hits. She also went to #6 with the soulful ballad “Blowing Kisses In The Wind.” She continued to score hits through 1992 with “Vibeology” and “Will You Marry Me?,” which featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica.
After the one-two punch of these hit albums, Abdul took a break from music. In 1995, she returned to the scene with Head Over Heels and scored a Top-40 single with “My Love Is For Real.” Since then, she added acting to her resume of skills in by starring in the TV movie In The Shadow Of Evil and taking the lead in a stage revival of Sweet Charity. Abdul’s dance-pop hits continue to be favorites in clubs around the world and she will always be remembered for raising the standards of dance choreography in music videos.
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