Paula Abdul sang a medley of her biggest hits at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday night

By Helen Murphy
May 02, 2019 09:20 AM

Paula Abdul‘s show-stopping performance at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday night had one accidental casualty — Julianne Hough‘s neck!

As the pop veteran, 56, danced and sang through a spirited medley of her biggest hits, at one point she threw a large black hat off of her head and into the crowd. As the hat flew off, it hit Hough directly in the neck, causing her to laughingly gasp and turn toward the camera.

After the show, Hough, 30, shared a photo of herself still wearing her glam awards show outfit with what appeared to be a white neck brace around her neck. In the snap, the dancer smiled and gave two thumbs up.

“The result of the honor of being hit in the neck by @PaulaAbdul’s flying hat!” she wrote. “Love you, babe!!!”

Abdul quickly responded, quipping: “OMG IM PEEING MY PANTS!!!!! You know it was with love.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s Billboard Music Awards coverage to get the latest news on music’s big night.

Abdul’s performance included her 1988 No. 1 hit “Straight Up,” her breakthrough smash “(It’s Just) The Way That You Love Me,” as well as chart-toppers “Opposites Attract,” “Cold Hearted” and “Forever Your Girl.”

She received a standing ovation from the audience — as well as the adoration of host Kelly Clarkson — at the end of the performance, which saw her doing everything from tap-dancing to leaping into the waiting arms of her dancers.

It’s been 30 years since Abdul hit No. 1 with four tracks from her debut album Forever Your Girl, which spent 64 weeks on the Billboard charts.

Paula Abdul
Kevin Mazur/Getty
Paula Abdul
Kevin Winter/Getty

Abdul opened up about returning to the stage during E! News’ red carpet pre-show.

“For me, I think if you align yourself in that heart space what you love to do, then you’re on the right path,” she said. “You have to be willing to make sharp left turns and sharp right turns … It’s hard to make it in this business. You can’t take things too seriously, and as I get older the more I’m in the moment, the more I appreciate everything that’s going on.”

The singer added: “I’m doing it for my mom and my dad!”

RELATED: Paula Abdul Reveals She’s Allergic to Cats but Took a Photo with Taylor Swift and Her Felines Anyway

The former American Idol judge’s big performance came two weeks after she revealed her father Harry died just one year after Abdul lost her mother Lorraine.

“My Father was, and always will be, my superhero. ♥️🙏🏼” she wrote alongside several photos of the pair together on April 17. “Thank you ALL for the heartfelt condolences. Your love and support is comforting me during this difficult time. xoP”

RELATED: Paula Abdul Delivers High-Energy Billboard Music Awards Performance After Father’s Death

Abdul also posed with Taylor Swift ahead of the big awards show.

On Wednesday night, Swift, 29, shared a photo of herself with two of her cats and Abdul on Instagram.

“I’m trying to give them a normal upbringing but when the little ones and I ran into the flawless @paulaabdul on the way to red carpet we STRAIGHT UP had to get a pic,” she captioned the shot, which featured her cats Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button.

Later on the red carpet, Abdul spoke to Access Hollywood about the shot — and dropped a major bomb.

“I’m allergic to cats!” she said “I love cats, but I’ve tried allergy shots. Certain dogs I’m allergic to as well.”

However, the photo was a possible turning point for the former American Idol judge.

“I’m thinking maybe I’m not as allergic as I used to be, because I did fine.”

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