As her new Las Vegas residency took off, Paula Abdul opened up about a crash landing.
During the opening night of her show at Flamingo Las Vegas on Thursday, the 57-year-old “Straight Up” singer referenced an alleged 1992 plane crash she previously spoke to PEOPLE about in 2005. Before a rapt crowd, she recalled the time “everything came crashing down.”
“It all happened when I boarded a seven-seater plane and an hour into the flight one of the engines blew up and the right wing caught fire and everything went black,” she said. “I woke up in the hospital only to find that I had crushed my cervical spine, leaving me partially paralyzed.”
The injuries had a severe impact on her mental state.
"For the first time in my life, doubt outweighed my spirit,” she said. "I disappeared for seven years, endured 15 cervical spine surgeries with the top doctors from around the world with the hopes that they’d put me back together again.”
RELATED: Paula's Secret Struggle
Paula Abdul.Drew Altizer Photography/Shutterstock
Abdul spoke about the crash with PEOPLE in 2005, saying the plane, flying from St. Louis to Denver, landed in a cornfield. She suffered years of chronic pain, a battle she dealt with privately.
Further speaking about that time in her life, Abdul said during her “Forever Your Girl” Vegas show, “I lost myself, I lost my passion and that little girl inside me who was once fearless. But even through all of that there was one thing that kept me going, one gift that stood by my side, and that one gift is each and every one of you. I love you from the bottom my heart. I’m forever grateful and I certainly did miss you.”
Forever Your Girl runs through January 4, 2020.