Breaking Free

"Breaking Free" is a song from the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical. It also appears on the soundtrack of the same name. It is sung by Drew Seeley,[1] Zac Efron, and Vanessa Hudgens. It was also released as a single on June 8, 2006.[2] On June 21, 2006, it was certified as a Gold single by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000.[3]

"Breaking Free"
High School Musical – Breaking Free.png
Single by Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Drew Seeley
from the album High School Musical
B-side"Start of Something New"
ReleasedJune 8, 2006
LabelWalt Disney
Songwriter(s)Jamie Houston
Producer(s)Jamie Houston
High School Musical singles chronology
"Breaking Free"
"We're All In This Together"
Vanessa Hudgens singles chronology
"Breaking Free"
"Come Back to Me"
Drew Seeley singles chronology
"Breaking Free"
"Get'cha Head in the Game"

The song subsequently appeared on Vanessa Hudgens' compilation album, A Musical Tribute and appears on the Disney compilation album, Disney Channel Playlist, which was released on June 9, 2009.


While Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez face prejudice from the basketball and scholastic teams, respectively, they both decide that they can pursue their secret dream of performing in a high school musical. The song is sung during the film's climax when Troy and Gabriella participate in the callbacks in front of the entire student body. In-universe, the duet is written and composed by Kelsi Nielsen for the second act of the Twinkle Towne school musical.


The song, performed at the film's climax, is a "chirpy slow-jam".[4]

Commercial performanceEdit

In its second week on the Billboard Hot 100, the single jumped from number 86 to number 4, the largest jump in the chart's history up to that point. "Breaking Free" was also the top-selling song of the week, reaching number one on the Digital Songs chart. The single went platinum.[5]

Music videoEdit

The music video for this song was a clip from the movie and musical High School Musical. It was not released to any video countdowns in the US, because it was the climax song of the movie and Disney did not want it to be released. In Germany, a music video was created for a remix of the song using behind-the-scenes footage, which was later included on the High School Musical Remix Edition DVD.

Cover versionsEdit

British pop-duo Same Difference who came third on series 4 of The X Factor were due to release a cover version of "Breaking Free" on April 21, 2008. However, this was later canceled as the pair started working with Stock Aitken Waterman and recorded a 21st-century version of the Kylie Minogue Japanese hit "Turn It Into Love". The duo did, however, include a studio version of the song on their debut album, Pop.

Kayla Oldenburg also has plans to do a cover version of the song. The song is purported to be recorded in a live outtake from her impending marriage and will be released on a "pay as you see fit" model online. A physical release of the track is planned on 8-track as well.

American rock group The Faded covered a version of "Breaking Free" for the High School Musical Goes Punk compilation on Skunk-Ape Records. The video for the single is available on YouTube. "The original song is beautiful and sweet – there's absolutely nothing wrong with it," says vocalist, Gene Blalock, "but I think the message of the song – being yourself and breaking free from others' expectations and demands – gets lost on a wider audience who only hear this pretty duet. Reworking the song makes the message more accessible." The Faded's version replaces the duet, with Blalock doing the primary vocals, and members Micheal Diamond and Freddy Maciel offering backing harmony.

The rock band Porter Block also recorded a cover for the Ending Room Recordings cover compilation Guilt by Association Vol. 1.

It was also covered by English teenager Skyla in June 2009.

Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo performed this song for the season one finale of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The song was also on the show's soundtrack.

Track listingsEdit

US and UK single

  1. "Breaking Free"
  2. "Start of Something New"

Italian single

  1. "Breaking Free"
  1. "Start of Something New"
  2. "Se Provi a Volare" (Performed by Luca Dirisio)

Mexican single

  1. "Eres Tú" (Performed by Belanova)

Portuguese single

  1. "Breaking Free"
  2. "O Que Eu Procurava" (Performed by Ludov)
  3. "Só Tem Que Tentar"

'French singlec

  1. "Breaking Free"

European single

  1. "Breaking Free"
  2. "Breaking Free" (Instrumental)
  3. "Breaking Free" (Remix)

'Asian singlex

  1. "Breaking Free" (Performed by Vince Chong, Nikki Gil, and Alicia Pan)

Chinese single

  1. "Breaking Free (Mandarin Version)"



Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Gold 400,000 
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Green, Kris; Wilkes, Neil (September 21, 2006). "High School Musical". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on November 18, 2006. Retrieved January 21, 2007. To set the record straight, the majority of what is sung in the movie is definitely sung by someone else. His name is Drew Seeley
  2. ^ "High School Musical Cast - Breaking Free". Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Breihan, Tom (March 24, 2006). "High School Musical: The Cult Success of the Year". Village Voice. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  5. ^ "Walt Disney Records' High School Musical Soundtrack #1 on Billboard's Top 200; Both Soundtrack and Breaking Free Single Are Platinum; Get'cha Head in the Game Single Goes Gold" (Press release). Burbank, California: Walt Disney Records. Business Wire. March 1, 2006. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cast Of High School Musical – Breaking Free". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Cast Of High School Musical – Breaking Free" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Breaking Free". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 15, 2020.
  9. ^ "Cast Of High School Musical – Breaking Free" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  10. ^ "Cast Of High School Musical – Breaking Free". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  11. ^ "High School Musical Cast - Breaking Free (послушать музыку, посмотреть видео клип)" (in Russian). Tophit. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  12. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  13. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  14. ^ "Vanessa Hudgens Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  15. ^ Billboard (February 11, 2006). "Issue date February 11, 2006". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 12, 2021.
  16. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 2006". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  17. ^ "NZ Top 20 Singles for 2006". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  18. ^ "British single certifications – Cast of High School Musical – Breaking Free". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  19. ^ "American single certifications – Soundtrack – Breaking Free". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 5, 2021.