Paula Abdul to Receive Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award at Music Biz 2017 in Nashville

February 27, 2017 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is proud to present its prestigious Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award to award-winning choreographer and performer, multi-Platinum recording artist, and beloved television personality Paula Abdul. She will accept the Award from Sandy Chapin, Harry’s widow, on May 18 at 12:30 p.m. CT during the Music Biz 2017 convention’s Awards Luncheon at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel in Nashville.

Abdul is active as a spokesperson and advocate for national charity organizations. Selected to be an ambassador of, she uplifts and empowers tens of thousands of youths in cities all over the globe as a speaker for We Day—a movement that brings together world-renowned speakers and performers to celebrate the power young people have to change the world.

This year, Abdul partnered with Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, to adopt a school in Brooklyn, NY, and to help foster arts education in impoverished schools across the nation. In 2014, the Avon Foundation for Women tapped Abdul to become their Avon Global Ambassador for their international #CheckYourself digital campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Abdul, alongside the Avon Foundation, directed, produced, choreographed, and starred in the campaign, which garnered half a billion media impressions around the world.

“Paula’s efforts on behalf of youth empowerment, women’s health issues and arts education are a prime example of what artists can do to give back to their community and the world,” said James Donio, President of Music Biz. “She has truly embraced the public platform that her massive success has provided to improve the lives of those around her. We are so pleased to recognize her with this Award and hope her example — as well as the continuing legacy of Harry Chapin — will remind everyone how important it is to donate time, energy, and influence to charitable causes.”

“I’ve been blessed to be able to do what I love for a living, but it’s helping others that really brings me the most joy,” said Abdul. “The work itself is the true reward, but I hope this recognition will bring further awareness to the causes I fight for and inspire others to do the same. My thanks to the Music Business Association. What an honor!”

Abdul joins a list of previous Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award winners that includes prominent artists and organizations such as the T.J. Martell Foundation, Martina McBride, Dee Snider, Annie Lennox, Melissa Etheridge, Norman Lear, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Jackson, Rock the Vote, Hands Across America, Live Aid, and Harry Chapin himself.

Abdul began her career as a cheerleader and choreographer for the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, quickly becoming an in-demand choreographer in the entertainment industry. She won an Emmy Award for her contributions to The Tracey Ullman Show, another Emmy for her own performance on the 17th American Music Awards, and an MTV Video Music Award for Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” music video. She has also choreographed for Duran Duran, ZZ Top, The Jackson Family, George Michael, Luther Vandross, INXS, Heart, and Prince.

In 1988, Abdul released her first album, Forever Your Girl, which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and was certified seven-times-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album featured four #1 singles — “Straight Up,” “Opposites Attract,” “Forever Your Girl,” and “Cold Hearted” — and netted her a Grammy Award for the music video for “Opposites Attract,” as well as four MTV Video Music Awards, two American Music Awards, and a People’s Choice Award. Her followup album, 1991’s Spellbound, has been certified triple-Platinum by the RIAA and featured two #1 singles — “Rush Rush” and “The Promise of a New Day.” After a sold-out arena tour, she released Head Over Heels in 1995, which has been certified Gold by the RIAA.

Abdul first made her mark as a television personality in 2002 as one of the original judges of American Idol, the era-defining music competition show. After leaving the show in 2010, she served as Executive Producer and Creative Partner for the CBS reality competition series Live to Dance before returning to the airwaves in 2011 as a judge on FOX’s The X Factor. She also served as a judge on the 2015 and 2016 seasons of So You Think You Can Dance.

She returns to touring for the first time in more than 25 years in May, when she joins Boyz II Men and New Kids on the Block for “The Total Package Tour.” The trek will hit 40 cities throughout the U.S.

Music Biz 2017, which will return to Nashville from May 15-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. This year’s event will feature keynotes from Atlantic Records Group Chairman and COO Julie Greenwald, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter; Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Music Agents Jeff Krones and Hunter Williams; and more to be announced. The eclectic program will cover topics including Touring, Live Streaming, Vinyl, Messaging, International, D2F, Crowdfunding, Tweens & Tech, e-Commerce, Playlisting, A&R, Social Media, Licensing, Publishing, Hi-Res, VR, Management, and Professional Development. Returning favorite sessions will include the Metadata Summit, Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit, and Entertainment & Technology Law Conference, as well as an encore for Music’s Leading Ladies Speak Out and various special interest programs and breakout sessions.

In addition, the convention will include a variety of Live Music Showcases, including the second annual Industry Jam, in which music business execs join big-name musicians onstage for an evening of live music. Music Biz will also present Breakthrough Artist Awards to Maren Morris and Lukas Graham; the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to Mike Dungan, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville, and the Independent Spirit Award to Terry Currier, Owner of the iconic Portland, OR-based record store Music Millennium. Additional award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks. Discounted early bird registration is now open at, and for a full list of currently confirmed programming, visit

About the Music Business Association

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce — a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. It provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its membership. Music Biz brings a unique perspective and valuable insight into the trends and changes that innovation brings. Today, we put our collective experience to work across all delivery models: physical, digital, mobile, and more. Music Biz and its members are committed to building the future of music commerce — together.

Music Biz Media Contact

Laurie Jakobsen, Jaybird Communications —, 646.484.6764