Born and raised in Honolulu, Carrie Ann Inaba is a fixture in the entertainment industry and a representative of the Japanese-American and Chinese-American communities.
Inaba had early career success as a singer in Japan in the 1980s. She made an impact in the US market as a Fly Girl on the nationally-televised “In Living Color” (1990). The Fly Girls ushered in a new era, bringing hip hop and contemporary dance to mainstream television and opening doors for Inaba including touring with Madonna and choreographing for “American Idol,” “American Juniors,” and “Dance Fever.” She parlayed her success to roles on the big screen in movies such as “Austin Powers: Goldmember,” “Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” and “Monster Mash.”
In 2005, Inaba became a judge on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” One of three head judges, Inaba is a consistent force on the show through present day. She was also featured in “Dance Wars: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” and hosted the Game Show Network’s “1 VS. 100” and TV Guide’s “Red Carpet Live.” Her credits include guest host for “Live! With Regis and Kelly” and “Live with Kelly” as well as “The View.”
Active in charitable work, in 2012 Inaba launched The Animal Project Foundation to support animal rescue organizations and assist in fostering, adoption, spay and neuter, and rescue services. She joined the Board of Directors of C.A.P.E. (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) in 2011 and is an original co-founder of The Dizzy Feet Foundation.