Paula Julie Abdul is an American singersongwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress and television personality. She began her career as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers at the age ofbefore rising to prominence in the 1980s as a highly soughtafter choreographer at the height of the music video era. Abdul later scored a string of pop music hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 tie her with Diana Ross for seventh among the female solo performers who have topped the chart. She won a Grammy for Best Music Video Short Form for Opposites Attract and twice won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography.
Abdul was born in San Fernando, California, to Jewish parents. Abduls father, Harry Abdul, was born into the Syrian Jewish community in Aleppo, Syria, was raised in Brazil, and subsequently emigrated to the United States. Her mother, the concert pianist Lorraine M. Rykiss, grew up in one of the two Jewish families in Minnedosa, Manitoba in Canada, and has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestors from Ukraine. Abdul holds dual citizenship in the United States and Canada. She has a sister named Wendy. In 1980, she graduated from Van Nuys High School.