Paula Julie Abdul born June 19,  is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, choreographer, actress, and television personality. She began her career as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers at the age of 18 and later became the head choreographer for the Laker Girls , where she was discovered by The Jacksons. Her debut studio album Forever Your Girl became one of the most successful debut albums at that time, selling 7 million copies in the United States and setting a record for the most number-one singles from a debut album on the Billboard Hot chart: " Straight Up ", " Forever Your Girl ", " Cold Hearted ", and " Opposites Attract ". Her six number one singles on the Billboard Hot tie her with Diana Ross for seventh among the female solo performers who have topped the chart. Abdul was born in San Fernando, California , to Jewish parents.