Hilary Duff's Coming Back to Music, But What Ever Happened to her Disney Channel Co-Stars?

BREAKING NEWS: Hilary Duff is making music again. The former teen star, now best known for writing bestselling YA novels and birthing an unbearably adorable son, has just announced that she's returning to the studio and recording new music. As any twentysomething knows, this is awesome news, because Duff's old music — "What Dreams Are Made Of," anybody? "Come Clean?" — was fantastic, in an early 2000s wannabe-pop star sense. Yet for every Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus, former Disney stars who've managed to hold our attention long after their shows were cancelled, there have been plenty others who've dropped off our radar.

5 Disney Channel Stars Who Made it, 5 Who Didn't

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BREAKING NEWS: Hilary Duff is making music again. The former teen star, now best known for writing bestselling YA novels and birthing an unbearably adorable son, has just announced that she's returning to the studio and recording new music. As any twentysomething knows, this is awesome news, because Duff's old music — "What Dreams Are Made Of," anybody? "Come Clean?" — was fantastic, in an early 2000s wannabe-pop star sense. Yet for every Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus, former Disney stars who've managed to hold our attention long after their shows were cancelled, there have been plenty others who've dropped off our radar.

MADE IT: Hilary Duff ('Lizzie Maguire')

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In 2004, the same year Lizzie Maguire went off the air, Duff stared in two critically panned but audience loved movies, A Cinderella Story and Raise Your Voice. Unfortunately, she spent the next few years starring in several more terrible movies, which didn't bode well for her career's future. An acclaimed turn in the '08 political satire War, Inc., however, as well as a recurring role on Gossip Girl in '09, turned things around. Helped by the release of a few albums that weren't half bad, Duff started to regain our interest. Now, she's busy filming a movie, preparing new music, raising her son, and doing philanthropy work. Lizzie, we feel bad we ever stopped rooting for you.

WHO?: Christy Carlson Romano ('Even Stevens')

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Back in the early 2000s, Christy Carlson Romano was Disney Channel's It Girl, poised to be a teen star alongside Duff, Raven-Symoné (we'll get to her, don't worry) and others. She had a starring role on the hit show Even Stevens, voiced the title character in Kim Possible, and led several Disney Channel Original Movies. Yet after that, she pretty much faded from the spotlight. She's found success elsewhere, on Broadway and as a YA author, but it looks like her TV star days are long behind.

MADE IT: Shia LaBeouf ('Even Stevens')

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He may be incredibly weird, but there's no question that Shia LaBeouf, formally Romano's co-star on Even Stevens, has made it in Hollywood. His 2003 hit Holes gave him legitimate acting cred, and roles in Disturbia, Transformers, and the Wall Street sequel built up his resume. His next film is Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac, which is going to be the creepiest movie you'll see all year, guaranteed.

WHO? Ricky Ullman ('Phil of the Future')

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For two wonderful seasons, Ricky Ullman, the star of the hit Phil of the Future, was the Disney Channel's main heartthrob. Yet after the show's cancellation, he struggled to get acting work, appearing in random episodes of House or Big Love. He had some luck with Rita Rocks, a Lifetime original show, but it was cancelled after two seasons. Since then, he's appeared in Off-Broadway shows, but otherwise... not too much.

MADE IT: Miley Cyrus ('Hannah Montana')

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Do we even need to explain? Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard enough about Cyrus, who gained fame on Disney Channel's Hannah Montana to last a lifetime. Next up for the 20-year-old singer is a new album, Bangerz, which will feature the annoyingly catchy hit "We Can't Stop."

WHO?: Dylan and Cole Sprouse ('The Suite Life of Zack and Cody')

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Yes, those Bieber-haired kids on the left are Dylan and Cole Sprouse, the twin brothers made famous from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. After the series ended, they moved onto the similarly-themed The Suite Life on Deck and The Suite Life Movie for a few years, but since 2011, they've stayed out of the spotlight to attend college at NYU. To be fair, they could choose to jumpstart their careers after graduation, but as of right now, the Sprouse twins fall squarely into the "who are they again?" category.

MADE IT: Raven-Symoné ('That's So Raven')

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The star of That's So Raven! made headlines earlier this week when she announced her sexual orientation (kind of), but it was hardly the first time Symoné got our attention over the past few years. After leaving Raven, the former Cheetah Girl starred in a successful film, College Road Trip, had a lead role in ABC Family's short-lived State of Georgia, and released an album. In 2012, she made her Broadway debut in the critically acclaimed Sister Act. As for if she used her psychic powers to help land the role, the jury's out.

WHO?: Adam Lamberg ('Lizzie Maguire')

Apparently, being the crush of every Jewish girl in America for three years only gets you so far in life. Lamberg, who played awkward middle-schooler Gordo on Lizzie Maguire, acted in just two films after the series' end. What films they were, though; 2005's When Do We Eat co-starred New Girl's Max Greenfeld, The Office's Oscar Nunez, and current teen star Victoria Justice, and 2008's Beautiful Loser was, well.... actually, nothing's notable about that one. Poor Gordo. Image: IMDB

MADE IT: Selena Gomez ('Wizards of Waverly Place')

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It's hard to believe it's only been a year since Gomez filmed the last episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place, the Disney Channel show that helped her rise to fame. Today, the star is an A-list celebrity, known for her attempts to rid her Disney image (Spring Breakers; an upcoming movie with Ethan Hawke), her on-again/off-again relationship with Justin Bieber, and her music career. Gomez's first solo album, Stars Dance, was released in July to middling reviews, but her 15 minutes of fame are far from over.

WHO?: Orlando Brown ('That's So Raven')

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Raven's best friend hasn't done too well for himself since the show ended. In 2007, he was arrested for marijuana. The next year, he went missing, causing a minor media frenzy until he turned up 24 hours later. In 2011, he got a DUI, with his pregnant girlfriend in the car, no less. Last year, he was arrested again, for issues relating to his probation. A few months later, he was... wait for it... arrested for a third time, In July 2012, Brown was arrested a fourth time for failing to show up to court. Oh, Eddie, what happened?

MADE IT: Brenda Song ('The Suite Life of Zack and Cody')

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Song starred alongside the Sprouse twins in Suite Life, and then played the lead in a successful Original Movie, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. Her real big break, though, didn't come until 2009's Oscar-winning The Social Network, in which she had a small but substantial supporting role. Since then, she's had parts on hit shows Scandal and New Girl, and she's currently starring in Dads, a Seth MacFarlane-produced FOX comedy set to premiere in September.

WHO?: Kyle Massey ('That's So Raven,' 'Cory in the House')

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Massey hasn't totally gone off the grid since leaving the Disney Channel — he was a contestant on the 11th season of Dancing With the Stars — but his time in the spotlight has pretty much passed. That doesn't mean he's not successful, though. Currently, he's a main voice on the animated series Fish Hooks, now going into its third season.

MADE IT: Demi Lovato ('Sonny With a Chance')

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Like Cyrus and Gomez, Lovato was part of a later wave of Disney Channel stars, and experienced the familiar "how do I get rid of my G-rated image?" crisis with intense media pressure. She's spent the last few years developing her music career, releasing four critically acclaimed albums. The singer, who spent years battling eating disorders and cutting, is now a popular judge on FOX's The X Factor and a mentor for teens with mental health issues.

WHO?: Kyla Pratt ('The Proud Family')

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The voice of Penny Proud has had a handful of roles in recent years, but nothing of major interest. She most recently appeared in an episode of The Mentalist.

MADE IT: Shawn Ashmore ('In a Heartbeat')

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In a Heartbeat, a dramedy about a teen EMT squad, may only have lasted one season, but it gave us Shawn Ashmore. The now 33-year-old is a bona fide star now, playing Iceman in the X-Men series and Mike Weston on The Following.

WHO?: Ryan Dowell Baum ('The Famous Jett Jackson')

Baum, who played J.B. Halliburton on The Famous Jett Jackson, quit acting after the show's end, and is now an ordained minister in California. He travels frequently to Africa for his work, and was the Director of a New York theater program. Image: Disney Channel