She was the lead in several musical theater productions at a young age and landed her first two films, Thirteen (2003) and Thunderbirds (2004) but when she auditioned and received the part as Gabriella Montez in Disney’s High School Musical in 2006, Vanessa Hudgens skyrocketed to stardom.

Hudgens is known for her angelic singing voice, dancing and acting chops and has a reported net worth of $16 million, but what path has her career taken since the High School Musical and subsequent sequel days?

Music

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Several songs Hudgens recorded for the High School Musical movie soundtrack became hits, including her duet with co-star Zac Efron, “Breaking Free”, peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In 2006, the young star released a solo album, “V”. The album sold 500,000 copies and reached No. 24 on the US Billboard 200 chart with single, “Say OK”. It’s success eventually led her to receive a Gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America.

In 2008, Hudgens released her second album, “Identified” but despite a successful debut, the album fell off the charts and she chose to focus on her acting career.

Acting

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By 2008, Hudgens was ranked No. 20 on Forbes’ “High Earners Under 30” list and began pursuing television and film roles.

Though she hasn’t seen a huge hit in the movie genre since High School Musical, her career continues to develop with parts in Nicolas Cage and John Cusack’s “Frozen Ground”, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s “Bad Boys for Life” and working with Dwayne Johnson in “Journey 2” according to TV Guide.

Fans will most likely remember her starring role in the Netflix original, The Princess Switch in 2018. A play on Disney’s “Parent Trap” films, a baker and soon-to-be princess (both played by Hudgens) hatch a plan to trade places.

In 2020, Hudgens returned to star in the sequel, The Princess Switch, Switched Again. This time, she plays three different characters in the film and fans were quickly calling for a third installment of the popular series.

According to Bustle, the third in the franchise has already wrapped in early March and is expected to release in late 2021.

Personal Life

In her personal life, Hudgens was half of a powerhouse young couple with Efron for five years, ending the relationship in 2010. She also dated actor, Austin Butler from 2011-2020.

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Today, Hudgens is reportedly dating Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop, Cole Tucker and loving every minute of it.

According to People, the 32-year-old star has been supporting Cole at the MLB Spring Training Game in Florida this week. The pair was first spotted holding hands last winter but didn’t verify their relationship until Valentines Day of 2021.

She’s continued her close friendship with Musical co-star Ashley Tisdale as well. The two were recently seen in a photo with Tisdale nearly nine months pregnant. Hudgens posted a slew of photos featuring Tisdale and herself throughout their friendship journey and wished her a happy birthday.

The pair have spent time traveling, shopping and sharing their lives together but now, with both in their 30’s, Hudgens says they talk about their partners, babies and renovating rooms in their homes.

Passions

Hudgens is super dedicated to staying fit, as shown in the recent Instagram swimsuit photos, showing off toned abs and legs in a one-piece, red bathing suit.

Throughout the pandemic, Hudgens has been seen doing a grueling battle ropes workout according to Women’s Health, virtual Torch’d workouts, resistance band workout and various cycle classes.

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Hudgens has previously spoken about her desire to be in a class environment for exercise. She wants direction, social interaction and competitive challenges.

Another passion includes her desire to support and encourage young women to feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin.

Hudgens became a spokesperson for Neutrogena in 2007 and in 2017, she partnered with EcoTools, according to Biography, in a national campaign, My True Beauty.

Hudgens said the goal is to empower women to embrace their personal beauty and remove the intimidation out of applying makeup.

Her charity work is well-known in Hollywood and Hudgens doesn’t hesitate to get involved with organizations helping others.

She had the opportunity to work with children through the Make-A Wish Foundation during her time with High School Musical and fell in love with the relationships built and inspiration from children suffering from chronic and life-threatening illness.

Hudgens is also a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity and in 2017, the actress accepted the See Her Award at the Teen Choice Awards in honor of her philanthropic endeavors.

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Sources: TV Guide, Bustle, People, Women’s Health, Biography

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