By Michael P Coleman
On her 2009 hit “I’m Just Here For the Music,” Grammy-winner Paula Abdul purred “I didn’t mean to turn you on.”
If that’s true, I hope I’m around when she decides to really give it a go.
Abdul scored a series of smashes beginning with her debut album, 1988’s Forever Your Girl. “Straight Up.” “Cold Hearted Snake.” “Rush, Rush.” “Promise Of A New Day.”
And then there was “Opposites Attract,” with a video that revealed my capacity to be envious — mad with jealousy, to be totally honest — of an animated cat.
After a series of hit records, landmark videos, and sold-out concert tours, a spinal injury sidelined the singer / dancer / choreographer’s music career for the better part of twenty years. Today, the 56-year-old Abdul is back, headlining a nationwide solo tour: Straight Up Paula!
Before her November 6 show at the Gallo Center in Modesto, Abdul gave me the EXCLUSIVE scoop on what fans can expect during the tour, how she made it back to the stage, and what’s keeping her strutting her formidable stuff.
“First and foremost, fans are going to get the hits,” Abdul declares, with all of the confidence of a diva phoenix. “They will be able to sing and dance along, and they’ll also hear some storytelling from my career and my life.”
Abdul insists that her injury and rehabilitation were excruciating (“It was worse than I could ever explain,” she recalls), but says the tenacity and determination that have always been hallmarks of her career spurred her to overcome her challenges and get back on stage — for her fans.
“I’m a surviver, but I also consider myself a thriver,” Abdul explains. “It’s one thing to be a survivor, but it’s another thing to turn that survivor mentality and those skills into thriving. For me, it’s always been about aligning myself with my heart, and with people, projects, and experiences that nurture me and inspire me to be a better human being.”
Click here for tickets to “Straight Up Paula!” in Modesto.
Click here for more of MPC’s EXCLUSIVE conversation with Paula Abdul — including her perspective on working on American Idol with Simon Cowell!