Paula Abdul Once Woke up 'Partially Paralyzed' After Plane Crash but People Doubt Her Story

Joe Akins
Oct 28, 2021
07:20 P.M.

Famous American singer and dancer Paula Abdul once revealed she survived a traumatizing plane crash in the early '90s, but years after telling the story, some think it's a sham, and here's why.


Paula Abdul made a name as one of the most popular dancers and singers in the 1980s. Her fame earned her many accolades, working alongside stars like Janet Jackson and other popular artists.

Over the years, Abdul has been more vocal about her past struggles, including addiction problems, but she claims her biggest nightmare happened in the early '90s, changing her life forever.

Picture of American singer, Paula Abdul during an interview with RuPaul. | Photo: youtube.com/RuPaul

Picture of American singer, Paula Abdul during an interview with RuPaul. | Photo: youtube.com/RuPaul

The fairy godmother of aspiring pop singers revealed she survived a plane crash while on her "Spellbound" tour in 1992, leaving her with many injuries requiring several surgeries. Although there has been some skepticism on the internet about her story, Abdul argues that it happened.



Abdul arrived in the entertainment industry as one of the most promising talents of her time. To her credit, she lived up to the expectation, making herself one of the most popular choreographers in the industry.

Paula Abdul at Build Studios in 2019, in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Paula Abdul at Build Studios in 2019, in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

The 59-year-old has also worked as a songwriter, actor, and television personality, appearing on popular shows like "So, You Think You Can Dance?" and "X-Factor Around The World," where she worked as a judge.

Abdul has had to endure a series of professional and personal challenges to build the career she now has. Each of her struggles seems to serve as an inspiration to keep her going.

Born in San Fernando, California, in 1962, Abdul's career began as a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team when she was 18. After becoming the head choreographer for the "Laker Girls," she was discovered by the popular family group "The Jacksons."


"The Jacksons" fell in love with Abdul's passion for dance, and soon she became the main part of their videos, with her energetic dance steps pairing perfectly to the sweetness of their melodies.


Following her successful stint with "The Jacksons," Abdul released her dance workout CDs. They became a huge success, grabbing the world's attention and placing her in demand for many stars.


Abdul later choreographed music videos for Janet Jackson and enjoyed more success. Afterward, she signed her record deal.

Her debut album "Forever Your Girl" in 1988 took the industry by surprise, becoming one of the most successful debut albums, with about 7 million copies sold in the U.S. Her album also set a record for the most number-one singles from a debut album.

Abdul released more successful albums and videos in the following years, expanding her fanbase outside the United States. Her album "Head Over Heels" had several hit songs that became club anthems.


At the height of her success and fame as a dancer and singer, Abdul took a break from the music industry. She began choreographing sequences for several movie productions, like "Reefer Madness" and "American Beauty."

She extended her talents to the movie industry, featuring in movies like "The Waiting Game," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and "The Wayans Bros." Her movie career did not enjoy the success she enjoyed as a singer and dancer. Still, it was a fun experience for her.



One of the most controversial parts of Abdul's life is her claim that she survived a plane crash. In an episode of her show, the "Straight Up" singer opened up on the horrifying event, which she said took years to recover from.

Abdul, who was in her early 30's at the time, revealed she boarded a seven-seater plane after a show and was going from St. Louis to Denver. An hour into the flight, one of the engines blew up, and the right-wing caught fire, leaving everyone in darkness.


The award-winning dancer noted that she found herself in the hospital with serious injuries on her body. Abdul claimed her cervical spine was crushed, leaving her partially paralyzed.

The injuries from the crash affected her more mentally than physically. She was outweighed by doubt for the first time in her life as she battled excruciating pain.


Abdul claimed the injuries caused her to be inactive in the industry for over seven years as she endured 15 cervical spine surgeries with top doctors around the world, hoping to get back to one piece.

Abdul said she lost all feeling on her right side, and there was a possibility that she would not be recovering, but she attributes her healing to the wonders of neuroscience.

Following her recovery, Abdul spends more time caring for her skin, doing what she loves best, and living her life to the fullest.



Speaking on why she refused to open up about it, Abdul explained she did not want to be associated with pity or counted out. Despite her claims of the crash, some internet users believe the singer fabricated the story.

Reacting to such claims, Abdul remarked that seven others witnessed the crash, adding that she chose not to spend her time debating on the opinions that don't matter; instead, she prefers to focus on her growth.

The veteran singer remarked that she is glad there were no social media platforms during her crash, or else she would have been considered a damaged star. Abdul claims keeping her woes from the press saved her career.



Abdul is one of the many celebrities lucky to escape a plane crash and tell the story. Others had scary experiences and shared them with their fans.

In September, singer Diplo took to Instagram to share a picture of his doorless plane, which he said had an accident mid-air but thankfully, no life was lost.

Wrestling legend Hulk Hogan luckily survived a huge scare during a trip to Saudi Arabia for the Crown Jewel wrestling event. His plane made an emergency landing in Iceland after encountering problems with the brakes and tires.

Famous actor Jason Momoa might be the fearless Khal Drogo in "Game of Thrones," but he is not immune to scary plane experiences.

His plane was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Palm Springs, California, and he took to his Instagram to share the news with his fans. Not too long after that, the actor was glad to resume his flight.

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