Having made a name for herself as something other than wrestling legend Hulk Hogan’s daughter on the VH1 reality show “Hogan Knows Best,” budding pop star Brooke Hogan continues to work on her debut album. “We have a lot of people that are interested, but we’re just trying to find the right deal,” she tells Billboard.com.
So far, Hogan has collaborated with an impressive list of producers, including Jazze Pha, Steve Morales, Manuel Seal, Jonte Austin and Damon Elliott (“It’s like a cross between OutKast and Gwen Stefani,” Hulk says of the tune Brooke worked on with the latter).
The 18-year-old Brooke has already topped Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles Sales chart with “Everything to Me,” which reached No. 1 in October 2004. She counts Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder and Mariah Carey among her influences.
“People are aware that you can’t just be a push-in who can’t sing,” she says. “It’s a double-edged sword. I write a lot of my own stuff, actually. I wouldn’t have it any other way, because nobody can tell my story any better than I can.”
Indeed, Hulk is hoping to dispel the notion that his daughter can simply conjure up a record deal because of her celebrity lineage.
“I really think the show has changed the perception from Brooke having it nice and easy because she’s Hulk Hogan’s daughter,” he says. “Now, there’s like this groundswell. They’re rooting for Brooke like she’s the underdog. They love her on the show and a lot of people have heard her music. Whoever decides to help her out will be a hero, so I hope it’s somebody who really cares.”
For her part, Brooke is already struggling to maintain her identity as she becomes a celebrity in her own right.
“I have so many people saying, don’t wear heels. You have too much make-up on. You have too little make-up on. You need to go more pop,” she says. “It’s kind of like, I’d rather go down with the ship I believe in than doing something I don’t like that somebody else believes in. If I can’t believe in myself, nobody else is going to believe in me.”