Many actors and actresses playing characters who sing often aren’t the ones singing–they’ll lip-sync a recorded version of the song, sung by professional singers. Knowing this, it’s natural to wonder if Vanessa Hudgens was actually singing in her movies and if she can sing at all.
Vanessa Hudgens can sing, and recorded her character’s songs in all of her film roles. The actress is also popular in theater productions and musicals, which she also sings for.
Read on to find out more about Vanessa Hudgens’s singing career on top of her acting one, and if the star can dance, too.
Born on the West Coast, this star got into performing in plays and musicals from a very young age. In a 2007 interview, just after the release of High School Musical’s sequel, High School Musical 2, which brought her into the limelight, she talked about how she first got into singing.
“It started when I was in preschool,” she recounted. “I was in a play and I never told my parents… I made my parents take me to school in the evening. There was a blizzard–we were living in Oregon then–and we almost didn’t go. My parents got to see me singing Away in a Manger. I was holding little baby Jesus and I was Mother Mary.”
“I have always loved acting, singing, and dancing. I would always dance around my house when I was 3 years old, choreographing my own dances to Everybody Dance Now. I moved from Oregon to California so I could start taking dance and piano classes.”
In all of the High School Musical films, Hudgens is singing all of her character’s parts. She also released two albums: V, her debut album, in 2006, and Identified in 2008, before going on her Identified Summer Tour in Mexico, the United States, and Canada.
So why did she stop singing after those first two albums were released? “My main focus from the very beginning was acting,” the star explains. “Singing was something that I was good at, but never really thought of pursuing.”
“It was kind of a learning experience,” she said about recording her first album, V. “I tried different kinds of music. I did pop, R&B, and rock. I threw it all together and had this collection of different music which is why I call it V–the V is not only for Vanessa but for variety as well, because there’s a different mixture of music there.”
True to her word, the star has mainly been focusing on roles allowing her to show off her acting talent instead of her vocals. But what about dancing, her third love?
So You Think You Can Dance
She didn’t give up dancing at all–along with her many different acting roles, sometimes dancing and choreography was a part of her performance, in things like High School Musical or Grease: Live.
She also became a judge on So You Think You Can Dance for their 14th season in 2017. Nigel Lythgoe, the creator of the show and a judge since the beginning, was interviewed when Hudgens’s participation in the show was released.
“I am so excited for Vanessa to join Mary [Murphy] and me on the judging panel for the 14th season of So You Think You Can Dance… Vanessa is an accomplished artist and brings her own brand of enthusiasm and energy to our panel.”
Check out more of Hudgens’s singing and dance moves in the music video of her song, Sneakernight, in the YouTube video below.