After her initial period of success, Abdul suffered a series of setbacks in her professional and personal life.She saw renewed fame and success as an original judge on American Idol in the 2000s, which she left after the eighth season.She went on to star on CBS's short-lived television series Live to Dance, which lasted one season in 2011, and was subsequently a judge on the first season of the American version of The X Factor along with her former American Idol co-judge Simon Cowell, the creator and producer of the show.
Abdul was born in San Fernando, California, to Jewish parents.
Abdul's father, Harry Abdul, was born into the Syrian Jewish community in Aleppo, Syria, was raised in Brazil, and subsequently emigrated to the United States. An avid dancer, Abdul was inspired towards a show business career by Gene Kelly in the classic film Singin' in the Rain.
Abdul began taking dance lessons at an early age in ballet, jazz, and tap.
She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was a cheerleader and an honor student.
before rising to prominence in the 1980s as a highly sought-after 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".At 15, she received a scholarship to a dance camp near Palm Springs, and in 1978 appeared in a low-budget Independent musical film, Junior High School.Abdul studied broadcasting at the California State University, Northridge.During her freshman year, she was selected from a pool of 700 candidates for the cheerleading squad of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team—the famed Laker Girls. Abdul choreographed videos for several singers throughout the 1980s, including many videos for Janet Jackson during her Control era.