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Photos: Paula Abdul, straight up

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  1. Straight up

    Paula Abdul once cheered for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, but then moved into choreography and a singing career of her own before taking a seat next to Simon Cowell at the "American Idol" judges' table. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Forever your girl -- or not

    Abdul married actor Emilio Estevez in 1992 but they divorced just two years later. She later told People magazine that the split came because she wanted children and Estevez, already a father of two, did not. She went on to marry sportswear designer Brad Beckerman in 1996, but again, divorced just two years later. (Ron Galella / WireImage) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. She's got the vibe

    Abdul performs her song "Vibeology" at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Abdul was nominated for best female video for "Rush Rush" that year, but lost out to Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do (Without You)." (Frank Micelotta / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. It's all about the kids

    In 1993, Abdul and other singers, including Celine Dion and Bobby McFerrin, performed at "For Our Children," a live concert with proceeds benefiting the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Abdul started off the concert singing a jazzy version of Disney's classic "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah." (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Meet the Muppets

    Abdul is famed for performing with cartoon cat MC Skat Kat in her "Opposites Attract" video in 1989, so it perhaps wasn't much of a stretch for her to make an appearance on "Muppets Tonight" in 1996. (Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Dynamic trio

    When "American Idol" launched in 2002, Abdul was paired with sardonic Brit Simon Cowell, left, and affable music producer Randy Jackson, right, as one of the show's three judges. She quickly developed a reputation as the always-positive judge, and just as quickly began to draw attention for her sometimes bizarre and outlandish comments. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Gone to the dogs

    Abdul is seen hugging puppy Yoda at a fashion show in 2004. Abdul may be an animal lover, but in 2007, she broke her nose and toe when she tripped over her pet Chihuahua Tulip. Tulip was unhurt. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Fashion plate

    Abdul arrives at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund AMY awards in 2006. Long interested in fashion, she started her own jewelry line on QVC in 2007, and often displayed her work on "American Idol," even offering pieces to the singers. (Bryan Bedder / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Star of her own show

    Abdul starred in a brief Bravo reality show called "Hey Paula" in 2007. The seven-episode show was panned by critics, who noted that Abdul came off as much less friendly than she does on "American Idol." One segment features the singer's emotional reaction to being fired from a movie based on the line of Bratz dolls, but Abdul later blamed creative editing for the way she appeared. (Bravo via Everett Collection) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Time for slime

    Abdul and fellow "Idol" judge Randy Jackson accept the favorite TV show award won by the show at the 2007 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Despite -- or perhaps because of -- the numerous on- and off-set controversies, "American Idol" continues to dominate the Nielsen ratings. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. What happens in Vegas

    Abdul made an appearance at the gala premiere of Criss Angel Believe," a collaboration between illusionist Criss Angel and the acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil, at the Luxor Resort & Casino in 2008. (Ethan Miller / Getty Images for Cirque du Solei) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. On the red carpet

    Abdul continues to make the rounds of Hollywood events. She's seen here arriving at the premiere of the film "Swing Vote" in Hollywood, Calif., in 2008. (Frazer Harrison / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Heating up the 'Idol' stage

    After scoring repeated hits from 1987-1996, the singer had seemingly put music on the back burner to pursue other interests. But in May 2009, Abdul performed her new single, "I'm Just Here for the Music," on an "American Idol" results show. (R Mickshaw / Getty Images for Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Sitting next to her replacement?

    In January 2009, "American Idol" added a fourth judge, songwriter Kara DioGuardi, second from left. Many critics and fans speculated that DioGuardi was added to eventually replace Abdul, although the four judges worked together for the 2009 season without incident. In August 2009, Abdul and Fox confirmed that she would not return to the show. (Fox) Back to slideshow navigation
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