Whatever happened to Brooke Hogan’s music career?
The daughter of WWE superstar and wrestling icon Hulk Hogan, Brooke was first introduced to the world as part of VH1’s hit reality show Hogan Knows Best, which premiered in 2005 and ran for four seasons.
Prior to making her reality TV debut, Brooke, an aspiring singer at the time, had signed a record deal with Trans Continental in 2002. However, her debut single, “Everything to Me,” fell short on the charts, and her record label dropped her shortly after its release.
But a false start wasn’t about to derail her music career: Within a few years, she went on to star in her family’s reality show while simultaneously recording her debut album, a journey that was frequently spotlighted on the show.
While filming Hogan Knows Best, Brooke signed a new recording deal, this time with Storch Music Company and SoBe Entertainment. In 2006, she released her debut record, Undiscovered — a mix of pop, rock, hip-hop and electronic music. “About Us,” the steamy lead single from the album, was a runaway hit, eventually climbing to No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Undiscovered debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart. To further promote the record, Brooke famously performed alongside Paul Wall on MTV’s Total Request Live on October 24, 2006, the same episode My Chemical Romance appeared on. The record was a hit among most critics and fans alike, but failed to pull in the Christina- or Britney-level sales expected of it.
In 2007, after four seasons, Hogan Knows Best was canceled due to the family’s wishes, which came amid at-the-time alleged marital issues and the fallout of a tragic car accident. The following year, Brooke got her very own spinoff reality show, Brooke Knows Best. She left SMC that same year and signed a joint recording contract with SoBe and Fontana Records for her sophomore album.
In July 2009, Brooke dropped a mixtape called Judgement Day, which served as a taste of what was to come off her next album. The mixtape gained buzz online thanks to a song called “Ur Not That Hot,” which was a diss track about The Hills star Heidi Montag.
Weeks later, Brooke released her sophomore album, The Redemption. The record floundered, with only 3,381 sales in its first week, and Brooke was subsequently dropped from her label. Brooke completed the second and final season of her reality show, which concluded in August 2009.
Following the failure of her second album, Brooke took a break from solo music, turning to acting instead. She took random guest roles and appearances in various films and television shows, and was even featured in Toni Braxton’s music video for “Yesterday.”
In early 2014, Brooke attempted to restart her career in pop music with a new single called “Beautiful.” It was never released. At a friend’s suggestion, she packed up her things in Florida and moved to Nashville. There, she wrote hundreds of songs with other songwriters in town and fell in love with the city. Months later, she officially made the transition to country music.
Brooke released her debut country single, “Girlfriend,” on July 13, 2015. Though a surprising move to some fans, the shift to country came naturally for Brooke who, prior to her pop career, had recorded an unreleased country album as a young teen.
In September 2015, Brooke released her debut country EP, I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend. Though it didn’t receive commercial success, it was enjoyed by her dedicated fan base and was welcomed by country music fans. In 2018, she debuted her second country EP, So Many Summers, to low sales.
On November 1, 2019, Brooke took a stab at pop music once again with the release of a summery trop-pop single called “Touch My Body.” Unfortunately, it failed to gain any commercial or critical success, though it did receive a somewhat cult following among pop music buffs online.
Over the years, Brooke has tried out many different career paths: actress, reality star, wrestler, singer, interior designer, businesswoman and fashion designer, but music has always been her biggest passion. In the summer of 2020, she released a cover of Milo Green’s “Move.” She describes her new music as “adult contemporary” pop. Today, Brooke resides in Nashville, where she’s still working on music.
In the mid-2000s, Brooke was clearly on the fast track to pop stardom, with a certified hit (“About Us”) under belt and plenty of buzz thanks to her reality show princess status. So, what went wrong with her pop career? And what’s different now? According to Brooke, it’s always been an issue of not having the right team.
“I would be curious to see what my music could do if I had the proper representation,” she shared with Irvine Weekly in 2020. “I’m really interested in what could happen with the right people. I’m ready to make an album.”
She also believes that certain impressions were made of her because of her famous family and reality show. “I’ve never actually been able to just soar and do my music. I’ve always had to have a backup job,” she revealed. “You have to have a real job when the entertainment business doesn’t work out.”
“I got shuffled into the pop genre and then into the urban R&B and then hip-hop genre. I was 17 and they’re like, ‘Oh, you can dance and you can play piano so let’s make like a white Ciara,’” she revealed to Stage Right Secrets of her beginnings, which she had no creative control over.
Thankfully, Brooke recently announced on Instagram that she is currently working on a new music comeback — this time on her own terms — and that while she was never able to fully take the wheel of her own career, that’s hopefully going to change now.
Brooke Hogan’s not giving up music any time soon, and she’s more determined than ever to make her voice heard.