As the daughter of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, pop singer Brooke Hogan was raised by a family accustomed to the type of lifestyle that comes with fame, which helped her easily transition into the celebrity spotlight of her own making as a teenager. Born and raised in Tampa, FL, she entered the world on May 5, 1988, as Brooke Bollea, the oldest of two children. She would later adopt her father's stage surname of Hogan. Growing up in a home filled with the music of the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, Whitney Houston, and Toni Braxton, she caught the entertainment bug early, starting piano lessons when she was five. Brooke soon added cheerleading, dance, and voice lessons to her résumé, and at the age ten, she decided she was ready (with the help of her parents) to start calling talent agencies. This led to a modeling contract, and by 15, Brooke had further developed her musical skills enough to land opening slots on tours for Hilary Duff and the Backstreet Boys, as well as singing gigs at a Radio Disney holiday event.
She recorded her first charting single, "Everything to Me," in 2004, the same year that the Hogan family was spotlighted on a VH1 television special. The hour-long show did so well that it blossomed into a reality series, Hogan Knows Best. Brooke's road to becoming a pop star (not to mention an actively dating teen overcoming an overprotective father) was concurrently documented alongside the Hogan family's daily life. Soon enough, producer Scott Storch (Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, 50 Cent) approached her about recording a song of his, an opportunity that led to Brooke being the first artist signed to his label, Storch Music Company (created through a deal with SoBe Entertainment). Four months of work in Miami resulted in Brooke's debut dance-pop album, Undiscovered, which included collaborations with Nelly Furtado, Beenie Man, and Cam'ron. The record's first single, "About Us," featured rapper Paul Wall and heated up airwaves upon its release in summer 2006, coinciding with the filming of the third season of Hogan Knows Best. The resulting hype helped pave the way for Undiscovered's arrival in late October.
By mid-2008, Brooke's family had spectacularly disintegrated on TV, leading to the cancellation of Hogan Knows Best and the divorce of her parents. Having just turned 20 years old, Brooke parlayed her new independence into another reality TV series, Brooke Knows Best, which launched that summer. The show documented her life as a young, single, autonomous woman; moreover, it served as a means of stopgap entertainment while Brooke readied her second album, The Redemption. After issuing a "mixtape," Judgement Day, as a free digital download, she returned her attention to The Redemption, which arrived in July 2009 and included cameos by Colby O'Donis and Flo Rida. ~ Corey Apar