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Abdul's straight up busy

May 8th, 2009

Published: May 8, 2009 3:00 a.m.

Abdul's straight up busy
New album released this fall; will debut line of accessories

Richard Rushfield
Los Angeles Times

HOLLYWOOD – “American Idol” viewers are accustomed to seeing the show’s perennially positive Paula Abdul grapple for just the right words to deliver her verdicts.

But on Monday afternoon in a Burbank rehearsal space, she strutted across the floor without fear or uncertainty, directing six backup dancers, who kneeled in her wake, then lifted her to a platform about 15 feet high. There, she paused for the merest second at the edge, then dropped face-first toward the floor – rescued midplunge by the arms of her dancers.

“I’m fearless,” she said. “The dancers were more afraid then I am. I was like, ‘Guys, I know you’re going to catch me. You’re not going to drop me on my head.’ I’ve always been taught to jump into the middle of fear. I’m a firm believer that if you jump right in, you’ll find your way out.”

While renowned for her nurturing ways, a lot of fearlessness will be asked in the coming weeks of Abdul, who finds herself at a major crossroads of her career. With a new album due out, she prepares to reintroduce herself as a singer-performer. In a showdown in which every twist and turn has been the subject of media scrutiny, with her contract expiring at the end of this season, it hangs in the balance whether Abdul will return to “American Idol.”

Although it has been widely speculated that the show’s producers would use this season’s addition of the fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, to squeeze out Abdul, sources confirmed that Fox has begun negotiations to renew her contract.

On Wednesday night though, Abdul crossed over the judges’ desk and took the stage to perform “I’m Just Here for the Music.” It is the title track of her album to be released this fall.

“It’s got that magic feeling to it, and when that happens, you know it,” Abdul said of the album.

Eight years into Abdul’s run as a judge, her life seems full. Her activities include her album, a line of accessories and a Twitter feed.

Asked whether the many avenues she pursues are the first steps to a post-“Idol” life, she said: “Here’s the thing with me. If you think 20 years ago, I was a Laker girl and having a No. 1 single with ‘Straight Up,’ and choreographing from 7:30 in the morning till 1 p.m. at ‘The Tracey Ullman Show.’ Then I’d leave my assistant there and go down to Universal Studios and work on the George Michael ‘Faith’ tour, while two doors down I’d be working on the Jackson reunion tour. Then I’d go into the studio at midnight while at 5 a.m. I’d pull into the Fox parking lot and sleep for a couple of hours.

“So for me, I thrive on that. I do lots of things, and I feel like I’m circling back to where all the magic happened, and I’m having the blessings of being able to do that.”

Click Here to learn more about the song or download "I'm Just Here For The Music" on Amazon or iTunes

Filed under: Music


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