Paula was born in San Fernando, California on June 19, 1962. This is where she grew up and began taking dance lessons at age eight. She attended Van Nuys high school, where she was senior class president, and head of the cheerleaders. After graduating in 1980, Paula started college at Cal State-Northridge, majoring in TV and radio. After joining the L.A. Lakers cheerleaders, and becoming the head cheerleader/choreographer after only a few months, she dropped out of college to dance and choreograph full-time. She was recruited by The Jacksons to choreograph their 1984 "Torture" video, the first in a long list of videos and movies she would choreograph. She branched out into singing with her first CD, "Forever Your Girl", which had lackluster sales until the single "Straight Up" exploded onto the charts in December 1988 and so to her popularity.
Her father (Harry Abdul) is of Sephardic Jewish background from Syria. Her mother is also Jewish and was born in Canada. Her parents have lived in Syria, Brazil, and Canada - and this varied background has contributed to incredibly different stories in the press about her nationality and/or religion. Daughter of Harry Abdul (once a livestock trader in Brazil) and Lorainne Abdul (former assistant to film director Billy Wilder, grew up in Hollywood, California. Since the age of seven, she sung and danced in community musical theatre groups while traveling around America. She took tap dance lessons as well, in which she was awarded a scholarship to Tap dancing school. Later on in life, she attended Cal State-Northridge College in which she majored in Broadcast radio. During that time, she auditioned for the Los Angeles Lakers NBA Cheerleading team, and that led her to a spot as a cheerleader on the squad earning some $50 a game during her freshman year.
Later on she decided to take up Choreography, working with artists such as the Jacksons and the Rolling Stones. Nowadays, she organises dance camps for young children to come to and have fun during the summer. Paula has won many musical awards, such as a Grammy, 7 MTV video awards, 2 Emmy awards, and 2 People's Choice Awards. On top of all that she's had two #1 hit albums and seven #1 hit singles. To add to that she has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. She has done well for herself, and plans to write/sing/choreograph for as long as she can.
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