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Paula Abdul - It a Long Way to The Top
 
Paula Julie Abdul  was born in San Fernando, California, to a family with Shephardic Jewish ancestors in Aleppo, Syria, (on her father Harry's side), as well as Ashkenazi Jews on her mother Lorraine Abdul's (nee Rykiss)  side - both of Paula's grand-grandparents, Avram Rykiss (born 1852) and Bessie Malamed, came from Katerinyvka, western Ukraine, at the time - part of the Russian empire.
 
Abdul observes all the Jewish traditions and has many times stated that she is proud of her heritage. In 2013, at the age of 51, Abdul visited Israel at the invitation of the Israeli government, had her bat mitzvah at a Kabbalah center in the town of Safed.
 
Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons during a Los Angeles Lakers game, where Paula was performing as a cheerleader for the hosts. She was signed up to do the choreography for the video to their new single "Torture". The smashing success of the choreography in the video resulting in her being signed up as the choreographer for the Jacksons' Victory tour, as well as in the start of her career in pop music!
 
In 1987, Abdul spent all of her savings to make a singing demo.
 
Her voice was originally not entirely up to scratch, but her exceptional dancing proved to be very marketable to the visually oriented, MTV-driven pop music industry.
 
And she was able to greatly improve her sound thanks to the help from singing coaches and to a lot of hard work. Next year she released her first pop debut album, Forever Your Girl. The album took 64 weeks (!) to hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart—the longest an album has been on the market before hitting No. 1, but spent a whole of 10 weeks there. Eventually, the album became multi-platinum and spawned five American Top Three singles, four of them No. 1s 
 
Several other albums followed, but they were never as successful, and since 1995 Abdul concentrated mainly on doing the choreography for other performers, as well as on television work, and later took a long break from music...
 
It was during that time that Abdul married Emilio Estevez, divorcing after just two years, and then clothing designer Brad Beckerman, divorcing even more promptly - in only one year. Her latest romances have not yet grown into a serious relationship.
 
In the 2000s, she made a spectacular comeback, though in a bit different role - as a television celebrity and judge in several dancing and singing contests all over the world, including American Idol and Live to Dance (United States), The X Factor (Great Britain) and So You Think You Can Dance (Australia). Abdul won love and praise from the TV audience for being a sympathetic and compassionate judge, in stark contrast to her fellow judge Simon Cowell. 
 
Paula Abdul is tied with Diana Ross in the number of singles in Billboard Hot 100, and has a Grammy and two Emmies on her trophy shelf.  
 
She is also a successful business woman, with her own jewelry line "designed with heart and soul"; the first 15 batches of her creations, some 34'000 pieces, were sold out instantly after appearing on QVC!
 
Sources:
Beth, Mary (June 19, 1962). "Paula Abdul – LoveToKnow Celebrity". Celebrity.lovetoknow.com. 
Masters, Steve. "Introducing Paula Abdul - interview". Record Mirror.
Genealogy.com
 

 


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