Brooke Hogan knows what the haters are saying about her — that she’s an untalented, bleach-blond reality starlet who’s only getting a break in the music business because her dad happens to be wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan.
But the statuesque, colorful Hogan also believes that most of the haters have never heard her sing. And she’s convinced that if they give her debut CD, “Undiscovered,” a shot, they’ll discover that she’s not another airhead, wannabe singer, but an artist who has worked for years to realize her musical dreams.
Though Hogan is just 18, she calls music her life’s passion. She spent years taking music and dance classes before she finally got a record deal at the tender age of 15. But things went awry and the record was never released.
In the interim, VH1 offered her dad a chance to be that network’s Ozzy Osbourne, chronicling the exploits of his family in the reality series “Hogan Knows Best.” Knowing that his daughter wanted to be a singer — and that TV exposure has boosted the careers of so many singers, including Ashlee and Jessica Simpson, he signed on for the show, now in its second season.
It certainly has helped boost Hogan’s profile — she recently made the cover of the men’s mag FHM. But Hogan knows celebrity will carry her only so far, and she’s confident her R&B-flavored CD will prove to fans and critics alike that she’s got true talent.
The Associated Press: What has being a Hogan meant to your career?
Hogan: Being a Hogan is a double-edged sword. First, the bad side is that I could be tied into that wrestling thing, and some people think that wrestling is hokey ... and I’m blond with the bleached hair, people tend to tie it in. And I don’t blame them, I mean, it’s funny. And then on the other side of it too, there’s been so many situations where relatives or sisters or brothers of famous people have been pushed into the business ... and then they’re found out that they don’t have any talent. So when I come in, people are like, ‘Oh, I bet you anything that she can’t sing,’ and I don’t think what people realize is I’ve been through years and years and years of training — piano, dance, vocal lessons. And this is something that I really wanted to do. I had to push my parents.
AP: Do you think you would have gotten a record deal without the reality series?
Hogan: I think that the show was definitely a blessing and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without it. How it kind of came about, all these girls, like the Lindsay Lohans, the Hilary Duffs, Jessica, they all had this launching pad of TV ... and we just had this opportunity. I said, ‘Wow, I’m trying to make it in music — this works!’ (Laughs.) So we started it and it really has been a tremendous launching pad for me, it really makes me visible and it helps out with that double-edged sword thing with being a Hogan. It shows people how hard I really am working.
AP: As Nick and Jessica proved, reality shows can be hard on real-life relationships. Ever worry about a negative impact on the Hogans?
Hogan: I can definitely say that doing a reality show puts a lot of stress on families. Luckily, we’re a strong enough, close enough, tight-knit family, and we love each other a ton, that there’s not that many problems. But there are days where we’re at each others throats because we’re stuck in the house, everyday, all day together. Sometimes you need a break even from the people that you love.
AP: You mention the success of stars like Hilary Duff ... Is it frustrating seeing their success since you’ve been working awhile to make it happen as well?
Hogan: I’m just pounding the pavement, but the funny thing is this is my second time around. I already went one time around the United States and performed in Wal-Marts and made a stage out of fertilizer bags with my dad. I mean, we really roughed it. (Laughs.) It’s funny, because I was on all these radio tours with JoJo, Ashlee Simpson, with Green Day, all these bands that have made it huge ... and I’ve watched all of them rise to the top and pop and hit stardom, and I’m still sitting here, slaving away and working on my album and trying to make it. But I think the harder and the longer you wait, the sweeter it is.
AP: Does it ever get annoying when you are making appearances and people just want to hear about your dad?
Hogan. It’s funny because when we do like, radio interviews, for example, I’ll get on the radio and they’ll say they want to talk to you about your album, and then they’ll hear my dad in the background, and they’ll say (gasp) ’Is that Hulk Hogan? Oh my god, is that your dad?’ and then they’ll get on the phone and then it will be a 20-minute interview about wrestling and Hulk Hogan. I’m not ashamed of my dad, I’m not mad about that, because that’s where I came from that’s the reason why I’m here ... but it is frustrating that people still have that Hulk Hogan thing lingering over me and it’s more important than me, when I’m trying to do interviews and I’m trying to tell people about my stuff. ... It kind of makes me feel down, but at the same time I’m proud of my dad and I’m proud of what he’s accomplished. But it does get frustrating because I want to make it on my own and I’m trying so hard to make people see me.