Grammy-award winning pop legend Paula Abdul has announced she will be hitting the road for her fall 2018 STRAIGHT UP PAULA! tour!
STRAIGHT UP PAULA! is set to kick off October 3 with a performance in Morristown, New Jersey. From there, the dancing superstar will journey across the U.S., weaving her way to the West Coast and hitting cities like Tulsa, Biloxi, Las Vegas, and Tucson. The seven-week tour will wrap with a November 17 show in Indio, California.
Abdul played alongside R&B group Boyz II Men and boy band New Kids On The Block for the sold-out, 45-city Total Package Tour in 2017. STRAIGHT UP PAULA! will be her first solo outing in 25 years.
"It's been decades since I've done my own tour, but I had a great taste of what it's like being on the road last summer with the New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men, and had a great time," Abdul shared. "It was just a real warm welcome and [it reminded me] of how it felt like when I was on the road constantly years and years ago."
The headlining tour will feature some of the songstress’ biggest hits including “Forever Your Girl,” “Opposites Attract,” “Rush Rush,” “Cold Hearted,” and, of course, “Straight Up.”
“I was so overwhelmed by all the love and support that you showered me with during last summer’s Total Package Tour. I couldn’t wait to share this exciting news with you! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you when I hit the stage starting October 3rd, 2018,” she shared. “I love you all from the bottom of my heart!”
The 26-city tour promises to deliver some surprises as well as a guest appearance by MC Skat Kat from her iconic 1989 “Opposites Attract” music video.
Who Is Paula Abdul?
Paula Julie Abdul was born in San Fernando, California. She enrolled in dance lessons at an early age, training in ballet, jazz, and tap after she was inspired by Gene Kelly’s performance in the Hollywood classic film, Singin’ in the Rain. She was chosen to join the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers cheerleading squad during her freshman year in college and became the team’s head choreographer within the year.
Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons after a few of the band members watched her while attending a Lakers games. She was subsequently signed to do the choreography for the video to their single “Torture.” Her work on the video launched her career as a choreographer to the stars, including music videos and tour choreography for artists such as ZZ Top, George Michael, Duran Duran and Janet Jackson. Her dance work on The Tracey Ullman Show earned Abdul her first Emmy Award.
In 1987, Abdul used her savings to begin recording a singing demo. Although she had enjoyed major success in the entertainment industry as a choreographer, she was a relatively untrained singer, and began to work with various coaches and record producers to fine-tune her vocal abilities.
Abdul’s debut studio album Forever Your Girl hit stands in 1988 and became the most successful debut album in history at that time, reaching the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. The album also set a record for the most singles from a debut album to reach the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. Abdul won her first Grammy Award for Best Music Video for the single “Opposites Attract,” and earned another nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her hit-single “Straight Up.” Forever Your Girl was certified platinum in 1989.
Abdul enjoyed continued success with the release of her second studio album Spellbound (1991) and it’s accompanying world tour. Following the tour, she entered a brief hiatus to seek treatment for personal and physical issues, coming back with a third studio album, Head over Heels in 1995.
In 2002 she made a return to the spotlight as one of the original judges on American Idol. Her appearance on the show won her praise as a sympathetic and compassionate mentor, often butting heads with fellow pessimistic judge, Simon Cowell. In 2008, she made her triumphant return to the music charts with the release of her single “Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow,” which hit the number two spot on the Billboard Dance Club Play chart. In May 2009, she announced she would not be returning to American Idol for the show’s ninth season.
In the years since her departure from Idol, Abdul has made several appearances as a judge on performance competition reality shows including So You Think You Can Dance, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and The X Factor. In 2017, she embarked on the 45-city Total Package Tour with R&B group Boyz II Men and boy band New Kids On The Block. It was her first time back on the stage in over two decades.
“I always wanted to get back on stage, because I missed it,” she said in a 2017 interview. “I wanted to get back in close contact with the people who have supported me all throughout my career and be able to see them again. Plus, I was getting asked all the time if I would ever do it again! I finally said, you know what, I want to and I'm going to make it a priority. I'm really passionate about it and it's fun, and I want to connect with my fans around the country."
The 2017 tour brought on positive feedback from fans across the nation and high demand for more from the pop superstar, leading to the announcement of her fall 2018 headlining tour, STRAIGHT UP PAULA!