Straight up now: Former American Idol judge Paula Abdul will headline Halifax’s next Bust a Move breast cancer fundraiser.

The six-hour fitness event will be held March 26 at Clayton Park’s new Canada Games Centre.

Sarah MacDonald, the volunteer chairwoman, said yesterday they doubted they’d land the American star but tried anyway.

Abdul called back herself and said she’d be delighted. She will lead the last session of the event’s fitness portion.

“We were looking for something that would get people really excited,” MacDonald said as Abdul’s 1988 hit Straight Up blasted in the background. “She’s been to Halifax before and we think she likes the town.”

Judi Phillips, who survived breast cancer, said she’s involved because she wants to help others.
“It’s my turn to step up to the plate,” she said.

Phillips called the disease a “son of a bitch” and said afflicted women need all the help they can get.

The January 2010 event, featuring fitness guru Richard Simmons, raised more than $1 million to buy a digital mammography machine. The 2011 event is raising money to create a one-stop breast health centre at the IWK Health Centre.