Paula Abdul performs her new single on American Idol stage

Paula Abdul is a brave woman.

Not only is the Eighties star trying to break into the charts again with a new song, but she had the guts to perform it in front of her fellow judges on American Idol.

The risk to the 46-year-old’s credibility were huge, what if she couldn’t perform any better than the acts she regularly criticises on the show?

But with expert choreographers, top-notch backing singers and billowing smoke in just the right places, she pulled the whole thing off brilliantly in a glittery basque.

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Taking centre stage:  Paula Abdul performed her brand new single I’m Just Here For The Music on American Idol

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Straight up: The judge is reviving her singing career which reached peak during the late Eighties

The crowd cheered wildly as the Grammy award-winner was lifted above the heads of the men halfway through I’m Just Here For The Music.

Fellow judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi also cheered on their colleague, who won’t get a better opportunity to return to the Billboard Hot 100.

Paula hit the big time with Straight Up in 1988 and also registered hits with Opposites Attract in 1989 and Rush Rush in 1991, has been a judge on America’s biggest TV show since 2002.

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Still got it: Dancers lift the 46-year-old into the air during the impressive performance

Singing heyday: Paula performing on tour in New York in 1989

Singing heyday: Paula performing on tour in New York in 1989

The singer recently revealed a 12-year addiction to painkillers which arose after a series of injuries.

After being hooked on prescription medication for more than a decade, she confessed that weening herself off drugs was so tough there were times when she felt like killing herself.

In an interview with American magazine Ladies Home Journal, Paula said: ‘I could have killed myself.

‘Withdrawal – it’s the worst thing. I was freezing cold, then sweating hot, then chattering and in so much pain. It was excruciating.

‘But at my very core, I did not like existing the way I had been.’

She injured a disc in her neck during a cheerleading session and in 1991 she suffered a broken leg during a dance rehearsal.

She was involved in a car accident the following year and in 1993 she was left partially paralysed after a plane crash and underwent 15 spinal operations.

Paula’s American Idol performance will be broadcast on ITV2 at 9pm on Friday May 8.

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Usual spot: Paula on the American Idol panel with Simon Cowell

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