Vanessa Hudgens Biography

Hudgens was born in Salinas, California, and lived all over the West Coast – from Oregon to Southern California – with her parents, Gina (née Guangco) and Gregory Hudgens and a sister, Stella Hudgens. Hudgens and her family moved to Los Angeles after she won a role in a television commercial. Hudgens's father is of Irish and Native American descent, and her mother, who grew up in Manila, is Filipina. Both sets of Hudgens' grandparents were musicians.

Starting at the age of eight, Hudgens performed in musical theater as a singer, and appeared in local productions of Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, The Music Man, and Cinderella, among others. Hudgens was not able to finish her high school in Orange County High School of the Arts after being home schooled after her seventh year. After home school, she went to England and studied drama and music at Kingsbrook Business and Enterprise College and graduated college. She appears in Thirteen as Noel and in Thunderbirds. She guested in television shows such as Quintuplets, Still Standing, The Brothers García, Drake & Josh and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.

In early 2006, Hudgens's breakout role has been playing the fictional character Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel movie series High School Musical. With this performance, Hudgens and co-star Zac Efron won the 2006 "Best Chemistry" award at the Teen Choice Awards for their roles. In the movie, she contributed five songs in the soundtrack. Hudgens established a music career under Hollywood Records, citing Celine Dion and Alicia Keys as her major musical influences. On September 2006, the release of her debut album entitled V, charted on the Billboard 200 at number twenty-four on the chart, with 34,000 copies sold that week, with "Come Back to Me" the first single, and the follow-up was "Say OK". V was certified Gold on February 27, 2007 and Billboard readers chose it as the seventh best album of the year. Hudgens was named Female Breakout Singer of the year at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards. She is also ambassador to Neutrogena products.

As promotion for the album, she was the opening act for The Cheetah Girls during their The Party's Just Begun Tour. Later on, she participated in the nationwide High School Musical: The Concert tour in fall 2006, performing the songs from the soundtrack album as well as the three songs from her debut album. She sang the duet "Still There For Me" with Corbin Bleu for his debut album. Hudgens also appeared on the High School Musical 2 soundtrack. In December 2007, she sang to the president, in the White House with other singers.

Her sophomore album, Identified, was released on July 1, 2008, selling more than 22,000 copies during the first week, debuting at #23 on the Billboard 200. At the same time, she went on the Identified Summer Tour to promote her albums in the U.S. and Mexico. She also performed at the 81st Academy Awards in a musical number with other young actors and singers.

Hudgens reprised her role as Gabriella in 2008's High School Musical 3: Senior Year and appeared on the movie's soundtrack. On January 11, 2008 it was announced that Hudgens would star in the comedy, Bandslam. Hudgens plays 15-year-old Sa5m (with the "5" described as "silent"), explained as an awkward outsider; the film will be theatrically released on August 14, 2009. Hudgens' upcoming projects include roles in Sucker Punch, which will release in 2011; she plays the role of Blondie. She will play Linda in the film adaptation of Beastly, which is scheduled for a 2010 release.
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