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Vanessa Anne Hudgens (born December 14, 1988) is an American actress and singer. She made her debut in 2003 appearing in the Hollywood films Thirteen and Thunderbirds, before reaching fame in 2006 after appearing as Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel film High School Musical hit series. Hudgens began a music career and released her debut album, V, in 2006. Her sophomore album, Identified, was released July 1, 2008. She is a spokesperson for Neutrogena, Sears, and Eckō.

Early life

Hudgens was born in Salinas, California, the daughter of Gina (née Guangco) and Greg Hudgens. She has a sister, Stella Teodora Hudgens (born November 13, 1995, San Diego).Hudgens's father is an American of Irish and Native American descent, and her mother, who grew up in Manila, is a Filipino-born of Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese descent.[Hudgens has been home-schooled since after her seventh-grade year at the Orange County High School of the Arts.
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. She got her first gig when her friend couldn't go to an audition for a commercial and asked if Hudgens could go.

Early work

Hudgens debuted in Thirteen as Noel and appeared in the 2004 film Thunderbirds as Tintin and appearances include guest roles on Quintuplets, Still Standing, The Brothers García and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (episode title - Forever Plaid), as Corrie. Hudgens also appeared on Drake & Josh, playing Drake's girlfriend, Rebecca.

2005-2006: High School Musical

Hudgens's largest role has been starring in the Disney Channel movie series High School Musical , starring as Gabriella Montez. She auditioned for Gabriella with the song "Angels" by Robbie Williams. Hudgens and Efron had won "Best Chemistry" award at the Teen Choice Awards for their roles. The first High School Musical
spawned a hit soundtrack, a worldwide concert tour, a show at Walt
Disney World, and even a book series that helped Hudgens land in Forbes
magazine's list of top-earning stars under 21." In the list, the
18-year-old Hudgens was No. 7 with estimated earnings of $2 million. Hudgens started concentrating on her music career by signing a record deal with Hollywood Records in 2006 as the start of her solo career, but first covered the song "Colors Of The Wind" for Disneymania 5 album in that same year.
Hudgens launched a worldwide tour with the rest of the cast of High School Musical in fall 2006, performing the songs from the soundtrack album as well of three songs from her debut album, "Come Back to Me," her lead single, "Say OK," and "Let's Dance. A DVD and an album named High School Musical: The Concert were released in 2007, featuring only one of the three songs performed by Hudgens from her debut album in the tour.

2006-2007: V

She officially signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records on June 2006. Hudgens's debut album, entitled V, was released in early September 2006. V debuted on the Billboard 200 in early October 2006 at number twenty-four on the chart, with 34,000 copies sold that week. A music video for her first single, "Come Back to Me", debuted after the world premiere of The Cheetah Girls 2 in late August. The official music video for her second single, "Say OK", was first shown following the premiere of Disney's Jump In!. In August 2007 at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards, Hudgens was named the Choice Breakout Singer - Female. Hudgens promoted the album when opening for The Cheetah Girls during their The Party's Just Begun Tour.The album has been certified Gold
in the U.S. for reaching 500,000 copies shipped. The album was
re-released in a limited Deluxe Edition format, released only in Japan. The album was certified Gold for shipments to retailers of 500,000 copies on February 27, 2007. The album was nominated as #7 on "Album of The Year" by Billboard Readers' Choice. Hudgens sang the duet "Still There For Me" with Corbin Bleu for his debut album.
Hudgens also appeared on the soundtrack of High School Musical 2, performing several songs such as "Gotta Go My Own Way", "You Are The Music In Me" and "What Time Is It?". In the end of 2007, she had performed "The Christmas Song" along with Katharine McPhee and Ne-Yo for "Christmas In Washington" event.

2008-present: Identified and current projects

On January 11, 2008, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Hudgens would star in the comedy, Bandslam. Hudgens will play 15-year old Sam and the movie is set to premiere on July 31, 2009.
Hudgens's second album was Identified. The first single from this album, "Sneakernight", premiered on Radio Disney on April 11, 2008. On the first week of the release of her album, Identified sold more than 22,000 copies, 12,000 less than her debut album. Though the album had poor sales its first week, Identified received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album was released a week before the United States in Japan
featuring three exclusive-bonus songs. Though the album wasn't very
successful on the charts, the lead single was able to climb at the top
10 on the Hot Dance Club Play and peaked at #8.
Hudgens launched on July 31, 2008 her first solo tour called "Identified Summer Tour"
in order to promote her two albums, performing some of the most popular
songs from her debut album and others from her sophomore album. The
tour reached Mexico too and she appeared in the Neutrogena Fresh Face Concert on September 7, 2008 at Santa Monica, California Powerhouses with fellow spokesperson, Hayden Pannettiere. As of October 2008, she has officially closed the concert tour.
Hudgens reprised her role as Gabriella for the third time in High School Musical 3: Senior Year. She also appeared on the soundtrack of the movie, performing songs such as "Can I Have This Dance" and "Walk Away". She also presented an award in the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards along with the rest of the HSM cast. Hudgens and the cast of HSM 3 launched a European promotional tour to promote the movie.[ Vanessa made only $2 million for the film, reportedly due to the photo scandal that hurt her image.
She is currently in talks to star in the movie adaptation of the novel, Dreary and Naughty.

Products and endorsement

In 2007, Hudgens signed a promotional deal for the Eckō Red footwear in which she did two commercials for the brand She also endorsed the sneakers in the video for the song. Sears
has teamed up with Hudgens for a back-to-school marketing campaign that
began in July and had the theme, "Don't just go back. Arrive."
Hudgens is also currently a Neutrogena
spokesperson. "Vanessa Hudgens has an energetic, dynamic personality
that will truly complement the spirit of Neutrogena. We are pleased to
welcome her to our team", says Neutrogena President, North America, Jim
Colleran. As a new spokesperson for Neutrogena, Hudgens will be
featured in both national TV and print campaigns. In September 2008, she performed in the Neutrogena Fresh Faces Concert.

Personal life

Hudgens confirmed, in an October 2007 interview with Teen Magazine, that she was dating her High School Musical series co-star Zac Efron and had been since the filming of High School Musical.They are still dating as of September 3, 2008.
In 2008, she was ranked as FHM's 62nd Sexiest Woman and Maxim's number 12 in their 100 Hot List. She was included in People magazine's annual "100 Most Beautiful People" list in May 2008. As of 2008, she has been a covergirl for Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl and Lucky Magazine. She has also done photoshoots with her boyfriend, Zac Efron and High School Musical co-star Ashley Tisdale for Elle Magazine, Glamour Magazine for the May issue and InStyle for October.
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