Since her breakout role in the High School Musical series, Vanessa Hudgens has continued to reinvent herself in the public eye. She has tackled music, film, and the stage with notable success, and tonight, she will be co-hosting the 2017 Billboard Music Awards with another multitalented entertainer, Ludacris.
Given this varied career, it begs the question: how much money has Hudgens made over the years? Learn about her net worth and what she likes to spend her money on with these five fast facts.
1. High School Musical Made Her A Millionaire
According to The Richest, Hudgens has an estimated net worth of $10 million. This was largely in part due to the wildly popular film series High School Musical, which ran from 2006 to 2008. Hudgens earned positive reviews for her performance as Gabriella, the female lead, and the first film became the most successful Disney Channel Original Movie of all time with 7.7 million viewers for its premiere. High School Musical 2 toppled its own record the following year with 17.2 million viewers.
By the time Hudgens appeared in High School Musical 3: Senior Year (the only installment to be released in theaters), she was earning $2 million salary per film. She would take a hiatus from acting after the series concluded, but would subsequently appear in films like Sucker Punch (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), and Gimme Shelter (2013). Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), which earned a worldwide gross of $335 million, is her biggest financial success to date.
2. She Was Sued For $150,000 In 2007
In the midst of the High School Musical series, Hudgens was sued over an alleged “breach of contract.” Brian Schell, who helped Hudgens cross over into music, claimed that he advanced costs and expenses for the sake of her recording career, and that he was owed over $150,000. The actress argued that she was a minor (age 16) when she signed a contract with Schell, and therefore too young to be legally binded to it.
The case was dismissed on October 8th, 2008, where papers filed by her lawyer proved that the California Family Code “provides that the contract of a minor is voidable and may be disaffirmed before (age 18) or within a reasonable time afterward.” Hudgens would subsequently terminate her contract with Hollywood Records, and is currently not signed to any major record label.
3. She Paid $1,000 In Damages To the U.S. Forest Service
While California law prevented Hudgens from having to pay $150,000, she was unable to escape Arizona law in 2016 when she was charged with vandalism at Coconino National Forest. According to BBC Newsbeat, Hudgens and her boyfriend Austin Butler carved their initials into the side of a red stone and posted a photo of it on Instagram, where the U.S. Forest Service took note.
“She was caught in the act because she publicized it and she’s famous,” said Forest Service worker Brady Smith, “I’m sure there are others who are not famous and publicized it and we’ve never known.” Smith added that Hudgens’ actions created the perception that “it’s ok to deface rock walls.” Hudgens eventually paid $1,000 in restitution. On the bright side, she and Butler are still together after six years, and you can learn more about him in the post below.
4. She Has A Certified Gold Album
In addition to High School Musical, Hudgens has also pursued a career in music. This was sparked by the massive success that she and co-star Zac Efron saw when their duet “Breaking Free” soared to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006. Later that year, she released her debut album V, which sold 134,000 copies in its first week and was certified gold on the strength of the single “Come Back to Me.” The album also saw surprise success in terms of international sales, as it was certified platinum in Argentina.
Hudgens’ sophomore album, Identified, was released in 2008 and debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200. It ultimately underperformed in comparison to V, however, as the lead single “Sneakerknight” bottomed out at number 88 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was a factor in Hudgens parting ways with Hollywood Records to return to acting.
5. She Has Multiple Endorsement Deals
In recent years, Hudgens has seen continued notoriety for her appearances in various promotional campaigns. In 2011, she came a spokesperson for the facial cleanser Nuetrogena, as well as the clothing line Candies, where she appeared on numerous commercials and magazine covers.
The most unexpected, and profitable of these endorsements, however, came in 2014 when Hudgens was allegedly paid $15,000 to promote McDonalds at the Coachella Music Festival. Daily Mail reports that the actress received sponsoring by the fast food chain, so long as she share some product-placement selfies with her hubby Austin Butler. McDonalds has since denied paying Hudgens to promote their brand, according to Business Insider.