20 Years Ago: Paula Abdul hits No. 1 with 'Opposites Attract'

Paula-AbdulImage Credit: Neal Preston/CorbisTo hear Paula Abdul tell it, her megahit ”Opposites Attract” might never have gone anywhere if she hadn’t cooked up MC Skat Kat. ”It was my seventh single!” Abdul remembers. ”I was told we shouldn’t risk oversaturation, because at that point I was very well saturated.” But that rapping cartoon pet made ”Opposites” a smash, and on Feb. 10, 1990, the single — from Abdul’s seven-times-platinum album Forever Your Girl — hit No. 1.

Believe it or not, Skat Kat was hatched as an homage to Gene Kelly. ”I had this whole idea for an animated cat to pay tribute to him when he danced with the mouse in Anchors Aweigh,” says Abdul. ”But mine would represent the day’s hip-hop pop cultural guys.” The funky feline’s intro rap, which was added just for the video, was performed by Romany Malco, who later starred in the first three seasons of Weeds (the other non-Paula portions were sung by duo Tony Christian and Marvin Gunn, a.k.a. the Wild Pair). For the visuals, the future American Idol judge storyboarded her vision with some Disney animators, then presented it to her record label. ”They said, ‘Oh, my God, this is going to be huge!”’ They were right.

”It was the breakthrough of the year,” says Abdul. ”It was just ground-breaking. Everyone remembers Skat Kat.”

The video for ”Opposites Attract” earned Abdul her lone Grammy — and something she treasures even more: a friendship with Gene Kelly, who called after seeing the clip. ”I cultivated a real relationship with him the last two years of his life,” Abdul recalls. ”It was the coolest thing. I would have tea with him — sometimes once a week, sometimes twice a week.” Opposites attract, indeed.

Related:
Read more of our special ”20 Years Ago…” posts

Comments (17 total) Add your comment
Page:
  • Jesse

    You go Paula! We miss you on Idol! :(

  • Jennifer

    ROMANY MALCO? NO WAY!!!

    • sunny

      my thoughts exactly!

    • sunny

      me again…just watched it on youtube…it so DOESN’T sound like Romany Malco!

    • Ana

      I just did some research. Apparently he was in a rap group called College Boyz. You can find some of their songs on youtube. It does sound like him. I’m just floored.

  • GeeMoney

    Romany Malco was MC Skat Kat?!?!?!? No wonder this song was so AWESOME!

  • gigi

    I’m jumping on the bandwagon.
    ROMANY MALCO!!! WTF?!?! Really!?! That’s crazy…I never knew.

  • Victor Eloy

    AND TEN YEARS AGO MARICAH CAREY WAS ON THE TOP OF THE HOT100 LIST WITH THANK GOD I FOUND YOU FROM HER ALBUM RAINBOW, IT WOULD TAKE HER 5 YEARS FOR HER TO GET BACK TO THE SUMMIT WITH THE BIGGEST SINGLE FOR THE PAST DECADE!

    • commenter

      who cares

  • Rock Golf

    The video for ”Opposites Attract” earned Abdul her lone Grammy — and something she treasures even more: a friendship with Gene Kelly… Opposites attract, indeed.
    Opposites? Kelly was a hugely successful dancer/choreographer/singer. Abdul was a hugely successful dancer/choreographer/singer. They’re about as opposite as Mary-Kate and Ashley.

  • katy

    It’s hard to imagine Paula having tea with anyone, let alone Gene Kelly. Good for her.

  • Jason Breslin

    Two steps forward and two steps back / We go together cos I’m dressed like a cat! / And you know, it ain’t fiction, it’s a natural fact / We go together cos I’m…dressed like…a cat!

    • Vivi

      “Family Guy” rocks!

  • 3colorjack

    We love you Paula! You’re forever our girl!

  • whootowl

    Paula should have been cast as The Cat Woman in the Batman flicks!

  • Sally

    I loved this song so much

  • Frank

    The opening and middle-third raps were both done by Derrick ‘Delite’ Stevens, not Romany Malco.

Page:
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP