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Hudgens was born in Salinas, California and grew up in San Diego. She has a younger sister, Stella Hudgens, an aspiring actress. Her father, Greg Hudgens, is of Irish and Native American descent and her mother, Gina Guangco, is a Filipino of Chinese and Spanish descent. All of her grandparents were musicians during the Big Band period. Starting at the age of eight, Hudgens performed in musical theatre as a singer, and appeared in local productions of Evita, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, The Music Man, and Cinderella, among others. Hudgens successfully auditioned for a commercial and subsequently moved to Los Angeles with her family, with whom she is still close.
Hudgens made her feature debut in Thirteen as Noel and appeared in the 2004 summer film, Thunderbirds as Tintin. Her television appearances include guest roles on Quintuplets, Still Standing, The Brothers Garcia and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, as a classmate of Maddie and London. Hudgens also appeared on Drake & Josh, playing Drake's girlfriend.
Vanessa's largest role among teenage audiences has been starring opposite Zac Efron in the Disney Channel Original Movie, High School Musical, which premiered in January of 2006; BBC News specified that the film's success turned Hudgens into a "household name" in North America. Hudgens and Efron won the "Best Chemistry" award at the Teen Choice Awards for their roles.
As a result of the film's popularity, Hudgens was offered a contract by Old Navy to appear in multiple commercials for the company. Hudgens had previously appeared in a swimwear commercial for the company in 2005. She also appeared in a Blockbuster commercial for no late fees, as the teenage daughter. Hudgens participated in the Disney Channel Games 2006, which was filmed in April of 2006 and aired two months later. She was on the winning Blue Team, along with Brenda Song, Corbin Bleu, Cole Sprouse, Monique Coleman and Jason Earles.
Hudgens will begin filming High School Musical 2 in March 2007, in St. George and Salt Lake City, Utah. The film is scheduled to be shown on the Disney Channel in August 2007.
Apart from singing in High School Musical, both in the movie and at the concerts, Hudgens has her own separate vocal career.
In June 2006, Hudgens signed a recording contract with Hollywood Records; her album, V was released September 26, 2006 in the United States and debuted at #24 on the album charts with 34,000 copies sold during its first week. There was limited promotion for the album, as it was released in the midst of the High School Musical worldwide press tour including Sydney Australia and London England. The album is scheduled for a January 2007 release in the U.K. Hudgens has described her album as "pop-rock, pop-R&B and pop-dance... almost like a mix-tape". The first music video from the album, for the song "Come Back to Me", premiered on the Disney Channel in August 2006; In the fall of 2006, Hudgens opened for The Cheetah Girls in their The Party's Just Begun tour; she performed in 20 of the cities included in the tour, between October 17, 2006 and November 15, 2006. She was a part of the High School Musical: The Concert tour, taking place over 40 cities from November 29, 2006 � January 28, 2007.
Hudgens has recently filmed the official video for her next single to be released "Say OK". A concert version of the video, filmed during the High School Musical: The Concert tour has already been released to Disney Channel.
Hudgens will work on her new album after filming High School Musical 2.
-Gabriella Montez in High School Musical.