California native Paula Abdul got her start in the dance world as a L.A. Lakers girl, earning $50 a game.
Following her stint as a dancer, she decided to take on the world of choreography, working with stars such as Janet Jackson, George Michael, and Dolly Parton.
She began her own musical career in the late 1980s and released six number one hits within a few years of her debut album.
From 2002-2009, Abdul served as one of the three judges on FOX's hit show American Idol, deciding to part ways with the series in August 2009 after a much-publicized stall in contract negotiations.
In 2007, she stared in her own reality television show called Hey Paula. The show only lasted eight episodes. She will join Idol's Simon Cowell as a judge on The X Factor, appearing alongside L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole.
Previously engaged to Emilio Estevez, Abdul dated L.A. restaurateur J.T. Torregiani from April 2007 to June 2008.