Paula Abdul's Net Worth: What to Know

Paula Abdul is making a grand return to American Idol on Monday night, and being a former judge of the competition series certainly was good for her net worth. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Abdul is worth around $30 million. The outlet cites a number of career moves that led to her current bank account amount.

Abdul began her career in show business as a "Laker Girl" cheerleader for the LA Lakers basketball team but later moved into dance choreography, once working on a music video with The Jacksons. She was also hired to choreograph the famous scene from Big (1988) wherein Tom Hanks' character danced on a giant keyboard. In the late '80s, Abdul funded her own demo and eventually soared to stardom as a pop singer signed to Virgin Records. She went on to win her first Grammy for Best Music Video for "Opposites Attract," which she choreographed.

Abdul spent the '90s periodically working on music and also releasing workout videos. She got back into choreography as well, working on theater shows and movies, such as the 1999 Oscar-winning film American Beauty, in which she choreographed cheerleading scenes. In 2002, Abdul became one of three judges on a small music competition show called American Idol, joining music record exec Simon Cowell and legendary musician Randy Jackson. The show was co-hosted by Ryan Seacrest, and the end of its groundbreaking first season would crown Kelly Clarkson the winner.

Abdul was a judge on the show for eight seasons, eventually exiting in 2009. Celebrity Net Worth reports that she earned around $5 million per season, but was looking to make as much as $20 million for her return for Season 9. A deal could not be reached and so she exited, with Fox bringing in Ellen DeGeneres to replace her.


After leaving American Idol, Abdul went on to judge shows such as the American version of The X Factor and So You Think You Can Dance. She later became a regular judge on the Australian version of So You Think You Can Dance. She eventually decided to make a return to performing, and in 2016 she delivered her first full headlining set in 26 years at the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Afterward, in 2017, Abdul joined New Kids on the Block and Boyz II Men on their comeback tour, performing 47 shows. This was her first tour in 25 years. In 2018, she embarked on a solo tour and eventually landed a Las Vegas residency that ran from August 2019 until January 2020. Fans can catch Abdul when she makes her American Idol return on Monday night, which can be watched for free on FuboTV or on Hulu With Live TV with a free trial. editors choose the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. PopCulture nor ViacomCBS are responsible for prices subject to change.