Chances are when you're the daughter of Hulk Hogan and you decide you want to be a singer, you've got more to prove than the average aspiring pop star. A tough task for sure, but Brooke Hogan has been toiling away at it for years, much of the time under the omnipresent eye of of the media and the television-viewing masses. Her hit reality TV show, Brooke Knows Best, a spin off of Hogan Knows Best is in its second season on VH1, she's just released her sophomore album, The Redemption, and on top of all that, she's been dealing with her parents public, bitter divorce and other assorted tabloid craziness. We caught up with Brooke to find out about her new album, why she loves Britney as much as you do, and her recent venture into lesbianism.
Out: Youve been through a lot over the past year, much of it in the public eye. How have the changes in your life affected the sound of your new record?
Brooke Hogan: First of all, the album is different because I actually wrote the whole thing. I actually really invested my time and my heart and my soul into it, whereas the first album was really put together by Scott Storch. With his writers and everything, he kind of just took over the project, and I didnt even have a say in what I was doing. Its different that way in that I got to write everything and do it myself. And then by doing that, I got to write about all the stuff that Ive been through. Its all the drama, all the love, and all the sadness and the hate put together for good material.
What was it like getting to work with Flo Rida on the album?
We actually werent in the studio together when we recorded the song. I was at the airport shortly after he recorded it, and I was like, Oh my God, thank you so much! He did such a good job. Hes really, really nice, but so intimidating! Hes huge!
Yeah, hes gigantic! Like 65.
What made you decide to work with your ex-boyfriend Stack$ on your first single, Fallin?
Hes not my ex, actually. Weve been on and off, but right now were on, and its strong, and its good. Hopefully, it wont be off again! I was with SoBe [SoBe Entertainment, her label] a couple years ago, and I ended up with the family stuff and Stack$ and I went through a really rough time. So I decided to separate from the label. And I went about a year without him, and I had moved to LA for a short amount of time because I just needed to get out of Miami. And I flew back to Florida because Nick got put in jail, and I was like, All right, I need to figure out where Im going to live. Something kept telling me, Go back to Miami, go back to Miami. And I came back on a wing and a prayer, and literally, as crazy and fairy tale-y as it is, it really ended up that my gut was right. We just ended up running into each other on the street, and it was history from there.
There are some pretty racy lyrics on this album for someone with a professional wrestler for a father. What does Hulk think of that?
My dad knows that Im a young woman. He doesnt really, like, listen to it. He just skips those tracks. [Laughs] He knows Im growing up and that Im an adult and that I have a boyfriend and that we may do more than just kiss. My dads not stupid. Hes cool with it -- he knows Im growing up.
Do you worry that people wont take you seriously as an artist because youre on a reality show?
You know whats so funny? Everybody thinks, Oh, shes a reality star that wants to do music. And the truth of the matter is, I was doing music long before the reality show came along. That was the story a while ago, I dont know if its still the story. Ive worked really hard to change the opinions. So I think as long as Im working toward it and working for peoples respect, I think eventually its got to come.
Youre a huge Britney fan, right?
I love Britney. She does it all! When she came out with Hit Me Baby One More Time, I was like prime age. I was like twelve or thirteen or something, and it was just like, oh my God, she was my idol. I think that shes just a fabulous performer, and I feel for her because now Im starting to, not on the same level, but Im starting to get ridiculed [by] people. Shes been through a lot. And I just love her stuff -- you cant not!
Whats it like being tabloid fodder and having people like Perez Hilton constantly attacking your looks and your body?
I know what I look like in person. [Laughs] And they really, really get the worst shots. Like If I bent over and took all of the fat on my stomach and squished... they really just get that really bad shot. They do it for entertainment, and I understand it happens to everybody thats in the business. Its just the cross that you have to bear. I dont really think any deeper than that on it.
Right now VH1 is in the middle of showing the second season of Brooke Knows Best. We recently saw you go on a date with a girl. Any chance of you becoming Americas next favorite bisexual?
[Laughs] Probably not. Its just, I guess Ive never felt that towards a girl. But I have to say it was very enlightening. Really, honestly. Glenn [her roommate and co-star on Brooke Knows Best] is my best friend, and hes gay. Ive always been cool with gay people and stuff like that. But you really dont understand until you talk to someone that is gay or that is lesbian and you really get where theyre coming from. I understood that, I talk to Glenn a lot, you know, Do you choose to be this way? Or is it a sexual preference? What is it? And hes like, No, youre really just born that way. Youre attracted -- you always find yourself looking at the same sex. So its sort of like thats understandable, but just feeling where her heart was... the show didnt even show what we talked about. We have to squeeze everything into about 23 minutes. But like I said, it was really enlightening, and I really talked to her. I was always cool with it, but now Im even more cool with it!
On next weeks episode you and Glenn go back to his hometown for the first time since all of America learned he was gay on the show. What was that like? Was it an eye opener?
He was so scared to death that his parents were like old school, farm people, you know, not into the gay thing. He was really, really worried. I mean, he was like shaking -- like beyond. And I was like, Glenn, do you know whats funny? Its that even though your parents arent gay and even though theyre not around a major gay community, and they are basically you know, home grown Southerners that dont see that every day -- theyve also lived a lot longer than you have, and theyve seen a lot more and they understand a lot more, and Im sure theyre not so quick to judge. I said, You need to -- theyre your parents, theyre going to love you no matter what. Im sorry but people murder people and their parents still love them. So he was freaking out about it. But everybody accepted him, and everybody loved him. Hes such a great character on the show, it was just like, What are you worrying about, dude? People loved him because he was gay. And I even get, Wheres that gay guy thats on your show, we love him! Not that people should refer to him as the gay guy, but you know, he prides himself on it. He likes being himself, and he tries telling other people to be themselves too. Because a lot of people arent.
You turned just turned 21 in May. Has your dad finally backed off?
He has. [Laughs] Hes definitely not as strict -- hes actually really cool. He did watch me a little bit because I think he was shocked to see me drinking champagne. I was like, Dad, Ive already looked like a little forty year old my whole life -- this shouldnt surprise you. [Laughs]
And then how is your relationship with your mother right now?
My relationship with my mom is -- I would say strained. Were still not really on track. Its still a little bit awkward and weird. But hopefully well figure things out. I think she has to go through a lot more changing before we can talk. I think she needs to really find herself.
Finally, I have to ask, is that really your familys natural hair color?
It is! I have a baby picture of me and Im blonde!
Brooke Hogans new album The Redemption is in stores now. New episodes of Brooke Knows Best air on VH1 Sundays at 10PM EST.Send a letter to the editor about this article.