1. Paula Julie Abdul was born on June 19, 1962 in San Fernando, California as the youngest of two daughters to father Harry and mum Lorraine Abdul. She has Syrian-Brazilian and French-Canadian ancestry.
2. Inspired by Gene Kelly's fabulous Singing In The Rain, Paula started dance lessons at the age of 9 and is said to have wowed her teachers with her abilities.
3. Abdul had a part in 1978 movie musical Junior High School, where she played Sherry, a girl who announces that she's going to have a party! The lead actor in that movie P. David Ebersole was credited by the stage name David Stewart - which I bet he didn't keep during the '80s.
4. Laker Girl Paula had her big breakthrough in 1984 after The Jacksons spotted her cheering at a basketball game in LA. She was asked to choreograph the band's 'Torture' video. "Imagine me telling them what routines to do," she said years later of bossing the famous five. "I was young, I was scared. I'm not quite sure how I got through that." She then went on to choreograph the Jacksons' 'Victory' tour, and help out loads of other popstars.
5. As a film choreographer, Paula's worked on everything from Running Man and Coming To America to The Doors, Jerry Maguire and American Beauty. That famous Tom Hanks dancing on the keyboard bit in Big? Paula choreographed that!
6. Paula has been married twice - the first time to actor/director Emilio Estevez from 1992 to 1994 (they're still apparently friends). The second time was to clothes designer Brad Beckerman from 1996 to 1998.
7. After she was accused of being on drugs following an unusual American Idol appearance, Abdul revealed that she suffers from rare neurological disorder Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. "Drugs?" she questioned. "I'm not addicted to pills of any kind." She stopped taking painkillers after being left "loopy" following a series of accidents, and now takes anti-inflammatory etanercept. She later said: "I want America to know that I have never been addicted to anything, no chemical dependency, nothing for recreational purposes."
8. After saving up her choreography and dancing pennies, Paula self-funded a demo in 1987 to launch a music career. The following year she released the multi-platinum Forever Your Girl, followed it with the successful Spellbound and ended her trilogy with the gold-selling Head Over Heels in 1995. She returned to music in 2008 with the Randy Jackson hookup 'Dance Like There's No Tomorrow' and followed that up with 'I'm Just Here for the Music' a year later.
9. Despite Cheryl Cole's spunk and Piers Morgan's attempts at one-liners, we think that Paula is the only celeb to really have the real measure of Simon Cowell. Our fave quotes: "Can you imagine Simon as a kid? His imaginary friends probably never wanted to play with him", "I welcome him like I welcome cold sores. He's from England, he's angry and he's got Mad Power Disease" and "He's got claws and fangs, but he doesn't pee on my furniture, so I can handle that".
10. Paula has a thing for long-haired Chihuahuas and has owned dogs with the wonderful names Thumbelina, Tulip, Bessie Moo and Chomps.