Sometimes, pop stars seem to be a dime-a-dozen, but occasionally one comes along and makes us reconsider. An example is Paula Abdul. Her debut album, “Forever Your Girl,” was released 30 years ago. I remember the first time I heard “Straight Up.” I loved it. She was the coolest thing in my high school days. I had a picture of her next to my picture of Susannah Hoffs taped to the inside of my locker door. I was gonna marry one of them until Mariah Carey came along. Abdul’s career began as a cheerleader for the Lakers. She later became the head choreographer for Laker Girls. As legend has it, Paula Abdul was discovered by The Jacksons. Eventually, she became one of the music industry’s most sought-after choreographers, working with Janet Jackson, Madonna, ZZ Top, George Michael, Duran Duran and Steve Winwood. That fueled her dream to be in front of the camera. Abdul signed with Virgin Records, and immediately started work on her debut album with such producers as Glen Ballard, L.A.Reid and Babyface. What happened next was something few predicted, maybe not even Abdul. The album’s first single, “Knocked Out,” peaked at No. 41. The second, “The Way That You Love Me” got to No. 3. For most artists, that would be considered a good first showing. The album’s third single, “Straight Up,” did the trick. It quickly went to No. 1 and staying there through the Christmas season. That success helped to usher in a wave of new fans. “Forever Your Girl,” also hit No. 1, as did the fifth single, “Cold-Hearted” and the sixth single, “Opposites Attract.” That’s four No. 1′s from her debut album. No one had ever done such a feat before at the time. Abdul was the first female artist to have four No. 1 singles from a debut album and she is tied for second for most chart-toppers from a single album. Abdul’s music was fun, inventive, danceable, catchy and well put-together. There wasn’t a bad song on the album. Abdul’s follow-up, “Spellbound,” was equally impressive, spawning two more No. 1 hits. But trying to build on the buzz of “Forever Your Girl” wasn’t sustainable. After three albums, her music career took a back seat to her newfound reality TV deals, including that of judge on “American Idol.” She was the perfect person for the job alongside Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. I’m a fan for life, and I’m excited her current tour is coming to our are, when she performs Oct. 27 at Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo. Straight up, I got my tickets. — David T. Farr can be reached at email@example.com.