Actor David Reivers and his wife Martha welcome their first child, Corbin Bleu, in Brooklyn. By age 4, Bleu signs with Ford Modeling Agency and appears in commercials for Life cereal and ads for Macy's, Target, and Gap. In 1995, he makes his stage debut in the off-Broadway play, Tiny Tim Is Dead, in which he plays a homeless, mute boy.
A 7-year-old Bleu appears in his first television show, ER (right). "My character needed a rabies shot," he tells PEOPLE a decade later. "The scene is me bending over, wincing, and George Clooney giving me a shot in my butt."
Just weeks before his 15th birthday, Bleu stars as one of the leads in Catch That Kid. He plays computer whiz Austin in the film, which the Boston Globe calls a "slick little package that will seem patently ridiculous to anyone past adolescence even as their younger brothers and sisters eat it up." The Ocean's Eleven-for-kids flick puts Bleu on the tween star map.
Bleu (pictured with costar Hallee Hirsh) scores a starring role as Nathan on the Discovery Kids TV show, Flight 29 Down. The series, about a group of plane-wrecked high schoolers, is dubbed the teen version of Lost. "The show is designed for a younger audience," Bleu tells the Honolulu Advertiser. "It's not exactly 'adult,' but it's not a kiddie show."
Bleu, 16, hits a high note as Chad Danforth, best friend of Zac Efron's Troy Bolton (right), in High School Musical. The Disney Channel hit allows him to flex his musical chops and skyrockets him and his costars (including Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale) to instant stardom. The TV movie reaches 100 million viewers in more than 100 countries worldwide in its first year on the air. The soundtrack becomes the top-selling album of 2006.
Nearly a year after the release of High School Musical, Bleu makes the jump to leading man in the Disney Channel hit, Jump In!, alongside his father, David Reivers (left). Bleu stars as a boxer who discovers a passion for double-dutch jump roping.
After hitting No. 17 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart with "Push It To the Limit," his single from the Jump In! soundtrack, Bleu releases his debut album, Another Side. Peaking at No.36 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the Houston Chronicle calls the album "a surprisingly listenable blend of youth appeal and burgeoning maturity."
A record-breaking 17.2 million viewers tune into the premiere of High School Musical 2. USA Today calls it "a first-rate family film: sweet, smart, bursting with talent and energy, and awash in innocence." With the success of the sequel, the cast, which includes Bleu's onscreen love interest Monique Coleman (left), head to the big screen for High School Musical 3: Senior Year.
Bleu and his HSM costars cover PEOPLE's HSM3: Senior Year special issue. The final installment in the HSM franchise, which opens at No. 1 spot, making $42 million in its first week, is the first to feature a duet between best buds Chad Danforth (Bleu) and Zac Efron's Troy Bolton. "It's a bromance!" says Bleu of the two's junkyard scene, which also sees both stars dancing with Mini-Me look-a-likes.
After releasing his sophomore album Speed of Light in March, Bleu sheds his squeaky-clean image–and his clothes!–to star as a male model on The CW's The Beautiful Life, an Ashton Kutcher-produced drama about the modeling industry. "As much of a beautiful life as it is, on the inside, it can be a very ugly industry at the same time," he tells PEOPLE. The show is cancelled shortly after its debut.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Courtesy of Corbin Bleu; Kobal Collection/Wireimage; Everett Collection; Fred Hayes/Disney; Everett Collection; Fred Hayes/Disney; CW