Pauls has been an accomplished musician since childhood. He attended the Emils Darzins Music School and graduated from the Latvian Academy of Music in 1958, studying piano under Professor H. Braun. He played piano in restaurants, learning jazz classics and contemporary songs. From 1962 to 1965 Pauls studied composition, and from 1964 to 1971 conducted the Latvian State Philharmonic's light music orchestra, in which he was also a pianist.
In 1972 Raimonds Pauls organized the light music ensemble for Latvian radio, from which several music groups emerged such as "Modo", which achieved significant success in Latvia and other parts of the USSR.
In 1985, Pauls organized further music performers for Latvian radio and helped up and coming musical artists. Around this time, he also started working with Russian singers.
Raimonds Pauls was a member of the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR and served as Minister of Culture in the Latvian government from 1988 to 1993. In 1993 he became an advisor to the President of Latvia. Since 1998, he has been a Member of the Saeima, the Latvian parliament, initially as leader of the New Party. Before the 2002 elections he joined the People's Party and was elected on its party's list in 2002 and 2006. Pauls ran in the 1999 presidential election and received the highest number of votes, but below the required majority. He chose to decline the post.
After Latvia gained independence, Pauls continued his musical work, most notably working with Dzeguzīte, the most popular children's group in Latvia. In 1996, he went on a tour with singer Laima Vaikule, which included concert locations in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and New York City.
As of 2004, Pauls has composed music for six musical films and musical theaters, three ballets and over 50 movies and theater performances. CDs with Pauls's music have been released in several countries outside Latvia, including Russia, Finland and Japan. Recently he has recorded a double-album of jazz music My Favourite Melodies / So Many Stars - a long awaited venture of the renowned pianist into the jazz genre.
Pauls is married to Lana Paula from Ukraine. They have a daughter, Anete Paula and two grandchildren who are Anna Paula and Monika Pedersen.