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Vanessa Hudgens


Vanessa Hudgens is probably best known for one of three things: her star-making turn as Gabrielle Montez in the Disney Channel's phenomenally successful made-for-TV-movie series High School Musical; her relationship with her HSM costar, teen heartthrob Zac Efron; or the scandal involving provocative photos of Hudgens that surfaced on the internet in 2007. But there's more to the young singer/actress's story than just the usual Disney-princess-turned-tabloid-fodder fare. Take these less-circulated facts: The Salinas-born, San Diego-raised starlet has been performing since age eight (she got her start in musicals) and moved to England to study music and acting for a brief period. After the first HSM came out, the Teen Choice award-winner was offered a record deal with Hollywood, which produced two dance-pop albums sleek and slick enough to appeal to audiences beyond Disney's target demographic: 2006's V and 2008's Identified. Finally, the child of a white and Native American father and a Philippines-born mother, Hudgens is also one of the most prominent (and perhaps only) artists of Filipino or Native American descent on the charts -- or the screen -- today.

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