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October 9, 2015

Top Tween (and Teen) TV Stars

by AOL TV Staff, posted Dec 17th 2007 12:13PM
The Jonas Brothers ... Jamie-Lynn Spears ... Miley Cyrus ... find out where they rank on our list.

Once upon a time, it was possible for a TV child star to get by on an impish smile and cute catchphrase.

Today's crop of kiddie performers don't have it so easy; they need to be double or triple threats who not only head up their own shows and/or TV movies, but sing, dance, star on the big screen, sell out concerts and launch clothing lines (despite some occasional personal missteps).

Here we count down the 20 hottest faves of the teen and tween pack.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

Once upon a time, it was possible for a TV child star to get by on an impish smile and cute catchphrase. Today's crop of kiddie performers don't have it so easy; they need to be double or triple threats who not only head up their own shows and/or TV movies, but sing, dance, star on the big screen, sell out concerts and launch clothing lines (despite some occasional personal missteps). Here we count down the 20 hottest faves of the teen and tween pack. -- Angel Cohn

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

20. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/bindi-irwin/502192/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Bindi Irwin</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/-/SH009253800000/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Bindi the Jungle Girl'</font></a>)

The 9-year-old bundle of energy is a sunny presence despite the tragic death of her dad, <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/steve-irwin/276037/main" target="_blank">'Crocodile Hunter' Steve.</a> In fact she's following in his footsteps, wrangling wild animals on her series. She even has the courage to take on the concrete jungle -- the fashion world -- with her clothing line, 'Bindi Wear.'

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

19. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/raven-symone/240814/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Raven Symone</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/thats-so-raven/183644/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'That's So Raven'</font></a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-cheetah-girls/53941/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'The Cheetah Girls'</font></a>)

She got her start as cutie-pie Olivia on <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-cosby-show/62883/main" target="_blank">'The Cosby Show,'</a> then grew up to be a psychic teen on the Disney Channel sitcom 'That's So Raven' (with a clothing line, perfume and <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/cory-in-the-house/1301868/main" target="_blank">spin-off</a>). But the 22-year-old didn't stop there -- she's also the lead singer of the megawatt 'Cheetah Girls' movies and has released her own pop CDs. That's so busy.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

18. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/selena-gomez/382910/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Selena Gomez</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/-/SH009630930000/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'The Wizards of Waverly Place'</font></a>)

Harry Potter isn't the only teenage magic act in town. As Alex Russo on the Disney Channel show, this 15-year-old is bewitching fans with her unbridled enthusiasm for all things magic. She also guested on the uber-popular <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/hannah-montana/1099972/main" target="_blank">'Hannah Montana'</a> as a rival singer.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

17. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/brenda-song/328599/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Brenda Song</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-suite-life-of-zack-and-cody/168929/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'The Suite Life of Zack & Cody'</font></a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/wendy-wu-homecoming-warrior/211197/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior'</font></a>)

As ditzy heiress London Tipton (think <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/paris-hilton/358949/main" target="_blank">Paris Hilton</a> without the home video), she's a self-involved clothes addict who wouldn't know a deep thought if she found it on a sales rack. But the 19-year-old's not all fluff and fashion -- she kicked butt as reincarnated Chinese warrior Wendy Wu in the popular Disney Channel movie, which will have a sequel.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

16. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/keke-palmer/421512/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Keke Palmer</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/jump-in/1131856/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Jump In!'</font></a>)

She got rave reviews for her touching performance in 2006's big-screen <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/akeelah-and-the-bee/23818/main" target="_blank">'Akeelah and the Bee,'</a> but this dynamo really kicked it into gear with the successful Disney Channel movie 'Jump In!' The doubly talented 14-year-old has two hit songs on the 'Jump In!' soundtrack and recently recorded her own album.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

15. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/sabrina-bryan/373843/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Sabrina Bryan</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-cheetah-girls/53941/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'The Cheetah Girls'</font></a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/feature/dancing-with-the-stars' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Dancing With the Stars'</font></a>)

Better known to 'Cheetah Girls' devotees as Do (as in Do-Re-Mi), the 23-year-old demonstrated her fancy footwork on 'Dancing With the Stars.' After her shocking early dismissal from that show, her competitors donned (temporary) cheetah tattoos in her honor. Don't worry tween fans, Bryan's returning to her roots for 'Cheetah 3.'

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

14. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/jonas-brothers/549738/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>The Jonas Brothers</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/camp-rock/10250628/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Camp Rock'</font></a>)

Move over, Hanson -- there's a new band of brothers on the tween scene. Hotties Kevin (20), Joe (18) and Nick (15) starred in the hit Disney Channel movie <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/camp-rock/10250628/main' target='_blank'>'Camp Rock.'</a> The Jonases also did guest gigs on 'Hannah Montana' (where Nick reportedly found a special fan in <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/miley-cyrus/474330/main" target="_blank">Miley Cyrus</a>), and a spy series called 'J.O.N.A.S' will premiere in the fall.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

13. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/emma-roberts/284723/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Emma Roberts</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/unfabulous/389716/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Unfabulous'</font<</a>)

Her dad is actor <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/eric-roberts/108473/main" target="_blank">Eric Roberts</a> and she's got an aunt you may have heard of (Oscar-winner <a href="http://movies.aol.com/celebrity/julia-roberts/60634/main" target="_blank">Julia</a>), but the 16-year-old is now famous in her own right. She hit the big screen as <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/nancy-drew/25734/main" target="_blank">'Nancy Drew'</a> and rocks out on as "average" student Addie Singer in her Nickelodeon series. She also plays the guitar and put out an album. Not what we'd call "average."

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

12. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/ashley-tisdale/454305/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Ashley Tisdale</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-suite-life-of-zack-and-cody/168929/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody'</font></a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/high-school-musical/61888/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'High School Musical'</font></a>)

Already known for her role as teenage workaholic Maddie on 'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,' the 22-year-old jumped further ahead of the tween-star pack as part of the 'High School Musical' juggernaut. She's capitalized on her success as the snotty self-involved Sharpay by cutting an album. That's a smart Maddie-like move.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

11. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/corbin-bleu/355883/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Corbin Bleu</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/jump-in/1131856/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Jump In!'</font></a>, <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/high-school-musical/61888/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'High School Musical'</font></a>)

The curly-haired cutie got his start on the big-screen with <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/catch-that-kid/15469/main" target="_blank">'Catch That Kid'</a> and on the TV series <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/flight-29-down/134225/main" target="_blank">'Flight 29 Down,'</a> a kids' version of <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/feature/lost_tv" target="_blank">'Lost.'</a> But he rose to fame as basketball star Chad in 'High School Musical' and continued to showcase his athleticism in the Disney Channel double-dutch flick 'Jump In!'

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

10. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/miranda-cosgrove/376290/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Miranda Cosgrove</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/icarly/1307708/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'iCarly'</font></a> )

The teen stole the spotlight as the precocious band manager in <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/school-of-rock/14899/main" target="_blank">'School of Rock'</a> then went on to star as Drake's prankster sister in the hit series 'Drake and Josh' (see No. 9). Now the 14-year-old fronts her own Nickelodeon sitcom 'iCarly,' where she plays a girl who hosts a web-based talent show for her school pals.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

9. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/drake-bell/240321/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Drake Bell</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/drake-and-josh/70445/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Drake & Josh'</font></a>)

In addition to being a talented musician, the 21-year-old is a true teen idol. On the show, his rock band-playing alter ego is quite the high school hottie, with a different gal in practically every episode. And off screen, <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/vanessa-anne-hudgens/355254/main" target="_blank">Vanessa Anne Hudgens</a> seems to have had a little (not-so-secret) crush on him. But we'll say no more on that subject ('til No. 3).

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

8. & 7.:<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/dylan-sprouse/270608/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Dylan</font></a> and <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/cole-sprouse/270607/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Cole Sprouse</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-suite-life-of-zack-and-cody/168929/main' target='_blank'>'The Suite Life of Zack and Cody'</a>)

The identical twin brothers star as the scheming hotel-bound title characters of their Disney Channel laffer, but these tow-headed 15-year-olds have also been making an impression on the big screen, starting with their starring role, at the tender age of 7, in the Adam Sandler blockbuster <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/big-daddy/6281/main" target="_blank">'Big Daddy.'</a>

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

6. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/jamie-lynn-spears/377470/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Jamie Lynn Spears</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/zoey-101/158237/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'Zoey 101'</font></a> judge)

Stepping out of the shadow of her famous (or infamous) big sis <a href="http://music.aol.com/artist/britney-spears/1290171" target="_blank">Britney,</a> the 16-year-old is a star in her own right. She made a splash goofing around the Nickelodeon sketch comedy show <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/all-that/49727/main" target="_blank">'All That'</a> and headlining the quirky school sitcom 'Zoey 101.' Now, the young mom will turn her focus on her baby girl, Maddie.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

5. & 4.: <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/nat-wolff/455738/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Nat</font></a> and <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/alex-wolff/455739/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Alex Wolff</font></a>

('<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/the-naked-brothers-band/1192458/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>'The Naked Brothers Band'</font></a>)

Don't let the name mislead you -- this dynamic duo stays fully clothed during its act. Sons of <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/show/thirtysomething/761683/main" target="_blank">'thirtysomething'</a> star <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/polly-draper/20091/main" target="_blank">Polly Draper</a> and jazz musician <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/michael-wolff/268502/main" target="_blank">Michael Wolff,</a> the brothers' charmingly odd personalities and knack for music have made Nat (13) and Alex (10) an instant hit with fans who go gaga for their mockumentary series.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

3. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/vanessa-anne-hudgens/355254/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Vanessa Anne Hudgens</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/high-school-musical/61888/main' target='_blank'>'High School Musical'</a>)

Even before nude photos of her popped up on the Internet, this 19-year-old was well on her way to becoming a household name. She sings with a sweet pop sound, and her good-girl 'HSM' character, Gabriella, is impossible not to adore. Plus, her real-life relationship with <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/zac-efron/470408/main" target="_blank">Zac Efron</a> makes her one-half of tweendom's answer to a power couple.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

2. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/zac-efron/470408/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Zac Efron</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/high-school-musical/61888/main' target='_blank'>'High School Musical'</a>)

With his sideswept bangs and melodic crooning, it's no wonder that the now 20-year-old heartthrob makes girls of all ages swoon. Not only did he hit it big as the lead in 'High School Musical' but he showed he could work magic in theaters too with <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/hairspray-2007/22983/main" target="_blank">'Hairspray.'</a> Along with the upcoming 'HSM3,' he's inked a deal to star in a <a href="http://movies.aol.com/movie/footloose-2008/30637/main" target="_blank">'Footloose'</a> remake.

The New Generation of Tween Dreams

1. <a href='http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/miley-cyrus/474330/main' target='_blank'><FONT COLOR='#2864B4'>Miley Cyrus</font></a>

(<a href='http://www.aoltv.com/show/hannah-montana/1099972/main' target='_blank'>'Hannah Montana'</a>)

This daughter of singer <a href="http://www.aoltv.com/celebrity/billy-ray-cyrus/16392/main" target="_blank">Billy Ray Cyrus</a> is easily the most famous 15-year-old in the country. She stars as ordinary girl Miley and famous alter ego Hannah Montana on her Disney Channel show -- which has spawned video games, dolls and clothing. Plus, Cyrus released a hit double album and sold out her tour. World domination: complete.

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