Forever Your Girl

Forever Your Girl is the debut studio album by American singer Paula Abdul. It was released on June 21, 1988 through Virgin Records. The album was Abdul's breakthrough into the music industry after being a choreographer for high-profile artists including George Michael, ZZ Top, Duran Duran and most notably Janet Jackson. At the time of the album's release it was the most successful debut album of all time and was the first time an artist scored four US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles from a debut album.

Forever Your Girl
Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul.PNG
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 21, 1988
RecordedOctober 1987 – April 1988
Paula Abdul chronology
Forever Your Girl
Shut Up and Dance: Mixes
Singles from Forever Your Girl
  1. "Knocked Out"
    Released: May 4, 1988
  2. "The Way That You Love Me"
    Released: August 2, 1988
  3. "Straight Up"
    Released: November 22, 1988
  4. "Forever Your Girl"
    Released: February 20, 1989
  5. "Cold Hearted"
    Released: June 15, 1989
  6. "Opposites Attract"
    Released: November 28, 1989
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauC[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[3]


In 1987, Abdul, once a choreographer for Los Angeles Lakers and high-profile artists including George Michael, ZZ Top, Duran Duran and most notably Janet Jackson, used her savings to make a singing demo.[4] Soon thereafter, she was signed to the newly formed Virgin Records by Jeff Ayeroff, who had worked in marketing at A&M Records with Janet Jackson. Although she was a skilled dancer and choreographer, Abdul was a relatively untrained singer, and worked with various coaches and record producers to develop her vocal ability, with her vocal range defined as mezzo-soprano.[5][6] Ayeroff recalled signing Abdul to a recording contract years later, stating: "She said, 'I can sing, you know. I want to do an album.' Paula's in our industry. Here's someone with a personality and she's gorgeous, and she can dance. If she can sing, she could be a star. So she went into the studio and cut a demo record and she could sing."[7]

Release and receptionEdit

Released on June 21, 1988, 64 weeks later, it hit number one on the Billboard 200 album sales chart, the longest an album has been on the market before hitting number one.[8] The album was eventually certified seven times Platinum in the US by the RIAA and has sold over 18 million copies worldwide.[9] It also includes four number one Billboard Hot 100 singles: "Straight Up", "Forever Your Girl", "Cold Hearted", and "Opposites Attract",[9] which ties Forever Your Girl for second most number-one songs from a single album, and ties it for the most number ones in a debut album. She was the first female artist to have four number one singles from a debut album. "The Way That You Love Me" reached #3, and "Knocked Out" reached #41.

The album also reached #4 on the R&B album chart, while "Straight Up," "Opposites Attract," "Knocked Out," and "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" all reached the top 10 of the R&B tracks chart.

After a slow start, the album's third single "Straight Up" helped the album breakout in spring/summer 1989 after its initial summer 1988 release. Forever Your Girl hit number one for the first time on October 7, 1989. After the release of the single "Opposites Attract", the album shot to number one again on February 3, 1990 and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks. At one point, Forever Your Girl reportedly sold 191,000 copies in a single day.[10]

By 1998, Billboard Magazine reported that Forever Your Girl was the most successful album released by the Virgin Record Label, with all five of its top 20 hits also appearing on the same chart ranking Virgin's singles.[11]


Organization Country Accolade Year Result
MTV Video Music Awards United States Best Female Video (Straight Up) 1989 Won
Best Dance Video (Straight Up)
Best Choreography in a Video (Straight Up)
Best Editing (Straight Up)
Best New Artist in a Video (Straight Up) Nominated
Breakthrough Video (Straight Up)
American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist 1990 Won
Favorite Dance Artist
Favorite Pop Rock Album Nominated
Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist
Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist 1991
Billboard Music Awards #1 World Album 1990
Soul Train Awards Best R&B/Urban Contemporary Song of the Year (Straight Up) 1990 Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Female Artist 1990 Won
Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Vocal Performance, Female (Straight Up) 1990 Nominated
Best Music Video (Short Form) Opposites Attract 1991 Won
Juno Awards Canada International Single of the Year (Straight Up) 1990 Nominated
International Album of the Year 1990
Brit Award United Kingdom International Breakthrough Act 1990 Nominated

Track listingEdit

1."The Way That You Love Me"Oliver LeiberLeiber5:22
2."Knocked Out"Babyface • Daryl Simmons • L.A. ReidReid • Babyface3:52
3."Opposites Attract" (with The Wild Pair)LeiberLeiber4:24
4."State of Attraction"Glen Ballard • Siedah GarrettBallard4:07
5."I Need You"Jesse Johnson • Ta MaraJohnson5:01
6."Forever Your Girl"LeiberLeiber4:58
7."Straight Up"Elliot WolffWolff4:11
8."Next to You"Curtis Williams • Kendall Stubbs • Sandra WilliamsC. Williams4:26
9."Cold Hearted"WolffWolff3:51
10."One or the Other"Paula Abdul • C. Williams • Duncan PainC. Williams4:10


Adapted from AllMusic.[12]

  • Paula Abdul – lead vocals, backing vocals
  • Peter Arata – mixing assistant
  • Babyfacekeyboards, producer, backing vocals
  • Glen Ballarddrums, producer, programming
  • Russ Bracher – engineer
  • Pattie Brooks – backing vocals
  • Wally Buck – engineer
  • Francis Buckley – engineer, mixing
  • Annette Cisneros – assistant engineer
  • Dave Cochran – guitar, backing vocals
  • Keith "KC" Cohen – mixing, producer
  • Delisa Davis – backing vocals
  • Tami Day – backing vocals
  • Jimmy Demers – backing vocals
  • Eddie M. – saxophone on "I Need You"
  • Al Fleming – assistant engineer
  • Basil Fung – guitar
  • Jon Gass – engineer, mixing
  • Bobby Gonzales – guitar
  • Danny Grigsby – assistant engineer
  • Evelyn Halus – backing vocals
  • Dann Huff – guitar
  • Tim Jaquette – engineer, mixing
  • Jesse Johnson – drums, keyboards, producer
  • Cliff Jones – assistant engineer, engineer
  • Kayo – synthesizer, synthesizer bass
  • Oliver Leiber – arranger, drum programming, guitar, keyboards, producer, programming
  • Jeff Lorber – drum programming, engineer, guest artist, keyboards, producer
  • Yvette Marine – backing vocals
  • Pat McDougal – assistant engineer
  • Lucia Newell – backing vocals
  • Ricky P. – keyboards
  • Pebbles – guest artist, backing vocals
  • L.A. Reid – drums, guest artist, percussion programming, producer
  • Angel Rogers – backing vocals
  • Josh Schneider – assistant engineer
  • Daryl Simmons – backing vocals
  • Bob Somma – guitar
  • St. Paul – arranger, bass, keyboards, Organ, vocoder
  • Kendall Stubbs – engineer
  • Randy Weber – programming, synthesizer
  • Steve Weise – engineer
  • Troy Williams - saxophone on "Forever Your Girl"
  • Wild Pair – vocals, backing vocals


All-time chartsEdit

Chart Position
US Billboard 200 (Women)[27] 10


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[28] Platinum 70,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[29] 7× Platinum 700,000^
Hong Kong (IFPI Hong Kong)[30] Gold 10,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[31] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[32] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[33] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[34] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[35] 7× Platinum 7,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Forever Your Girl". Robert Christgau.
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 2. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. rolling stone paula abdul album guide.
  4. ^ "Paula Abdul Biography". Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  5. ^ Dominguez, Pier (June 13, 2018). "How "Forever Your Girl" Made Paula Abdul The Original Britney". BuzzFeed. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Hanson, Rachel. "Dancer Paula Abdul". LoveToKnow. LoveToKnow Corp. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  7. ^ Hall, Carla (March 25, 1990). "Paula Abdul, Soaring Straight Up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  8. ^ "Paula Abdul - Biography, Photos, News, Videos, Movie Reviews". Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  9. ^ a b "Paula Abdul, Driven". VH1. VH1. Retrieved 22 November 2017. Forever Your Girl went on to sell 18 million records.
  10. ^ "Forever Your Girl". Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
  11. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1998-09-05.
  12. ^ "Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul | Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  13. ^ " – Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 9072". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  15. ^ " – Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  16. ^ "Spellbound – Oricon", Oricon (in Japanese), retrieved February 21, 2009[dead link]
  17. ^ " – Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  18. ^ " – Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  19. ^ " – Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  20. ^ " – Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  21. ^ "Paula Abdul | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  22. ^ "Paula Abdul Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  23. ^ "Paula Abdul Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Mayfield, Geoff (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade - The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010.
  27. ^ "Greatest of Aall Time Billboard 200 Albums By Women". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  28. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988-2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  29. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Paul Abdul – Forever Your Girl". Music Canada. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  30. ^ "IFPIHK Gold Disc Award − 1990". IFPI Hong Kong. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  31. ^ "New Zealand album certifications". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  32. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  33. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Paula Abdul; 'Forever Your Girl')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  34. ^ "British album certifications – Paul Abdul – Forever Your Girl". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 2, 2016. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Forever Your Girl in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  35. ^ "American album certifications – Paul Abdul – Forever Your Girl". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 2, 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit