2008 Comeback Stories: Paula Abdul gets a boost from Randy Jackson


This post is part of our series about people, places and things that have found new life in 2008.

I never would have thought I'd become a Paula Abdul fan. Her career as a hit maker came well before my time, and I've known her only as the squeaky-voiced too-kind judge from American Idol: always willing to stand up for some poor off-key singer in the face of a barrage of criticism from Simon Cowell.

Now, with a song produced by fellow Idol judge Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul is back in the spotlight. And she's hot. What her new song Dance Like There's No Tomorrow lacks in originality, it makes up for in catchiness. And Paula's real strength, dancing and choreography, shines through in the music video, which also gets a boost from Randy Jackson. The single has been somewhat of a hit in the early going, selling well on iTunes and moving up the Billboard Hot 100. But the song's greatest potential probably lies on the dance charts, where a strong remix could make it a club anthem.

Here's what makes it an impressive comeback: Abdul has had 14 cervical spinal surgeries -- which has to be some kind of record for "most cervical spinal surgeries before having a hit dance song," and says she was "pretty sure" her dance career was over. And look at her now!

Is this the beginning of a full-fledged return to divadom for Ms. Abdul? Her website says she'll have a new album this summer so I guess we'll find out then. She's a hard person not to root for.