Forever her girl: How Paula Abdul 'straight up' inspired Tanika Charles

Before she goes for gold at the Junos — she's nominated for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year — watch Charles explain why Abdul was the one that stood out.

Juno nominee Charles explain why Abdul was the one that stood out

Why Paula Abdul was 'straight up' inspiration for Juno nominee Tanika Charles

6 years ago
Duration 2:56
Charles explains how Abdul's album Straight Up changed her life.

This weekend, Tanika Charles is up for a Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year — and we have Paula Abdul's Straight Up to thank in part for that.

"That was the first album that really just made me like, 'I want to do music, I want to sing, I want to dance,'" Charles says in the video above. "When I discovered music on my own, that's who really stood out."

Before she heads into her big night this weekend, watch Charles talk about Abdul and the other female entertainers that motivated her — and how she escaped a controlling relationship that almost derailed her music career.

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Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.


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