Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul reunited at the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize Awards in Qatar on Wednesday, Oct. 26 — and posed for the cutest pictures to commemorate it! In photos obtained by the Daily Mail that can be seen here, Janet, 56, and Paula, 60, looked stunning in show-stopping outfits. The younger sister of the late Michael Jackson donned a fitted blazer dress by British designer Alexander McQueen that featured a wide belt to show off her hourglass figure. She paired the look with black boots and wore a tailored button-down blouse underneath.
Meanwhile, the “Straight Up” hitmaker donned a fitted fuchsia gown with glistening beading throughout. The dress featured a sweetheart neckline and an off-the-shoulder design with a bold organza flower sitting on her right shoulder. Both pop stars wore their hair in updos.
As fans know, Janet and the former American Idol judge go way back to the 1980s when Paula choreographed for Janet’s 1986 album, Control. Paula was behind several of the star’s music videos such as “What Have You Done for Me Lately” and “Control”. Paul remembered her time working with Janet on the album in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone and said it was a life-changing time for both of them. “I’m very grateful, because this was really the big start to my career,” she gushed. “When I was introduced to Janet, I was told by A&M Records that Control was going to be an important album for her, and when I started hearing demos, I was really, really excited to work with her. I felt like I had a chance here to really create something big for her. It was so inspiring. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote genius music, and Janet had a really important voice in it.”
She continued, “You don’t hear ‘Nasty’ and go, ‘Oh, this is a dance jam.’ It was a very different kind of song, kind of like how ‘Straight Up’ was for me: This could define an artist completely, and I wanted to create something that would be signature moves but also define her as being in charge.” Paula got her chance to shine in 1988, when she released her debut album, Forever Your Girl. It featured the iconic song she referenced in the interview, “Straight Up”.
The reunion came three years after the talented singers reunited for a special night for Janet: when she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Choreographer’s Carnival. Paula hopped on stage and shared a heartfelt speech about the “queen who truly needs no introduction” ahead of giving her the award and remembered how she gave her the “dream job” and an “opportunity of a lifetime” to work with her when she was a rising star.
The adoration is mutual, as Janet took to Instagram on April 12, 2021 to wish Paula a happy birthday by sharing a throwback photo of them. “Sending luv to u today @paulaabdul,” she wrote with a kissing emoji. How sweet!