"...and Miss Teen USA is Hawaii's Kelly Hu!!!" -- those were the magic words that changed this unsuspecting teenager's life.
On February 13th, 1968, a girl of Chinese, English, and Hawaiian ancestry was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to Herbert and Juanita Hu. Sixteen years later this girl was standing before a live international television audience of more than 50 million people in Miami, Florida. Her mother had warned her before the pageant, "Now don't get too hurt when you don't win because America's not ready for an Asian Miss Teen USA." Mother's aren't always right, America was ready for Kelly Hu.
From the age of two, Kelly had already begun showing signs of her performing aspirations. Her mother recalls the toddler planting herself on her neighbor's front porch singing at the top of her lungs, making up songs about going to the market and other daily events.
At her first official performance, Kelly played an angel at her pre-school's Christmas pageant. Overhearing her teacher express concerns about not having strong singers for the pageant that year, Kelly took it upon herself to make up for the lack of voices by belting out "Silent Night" while her 8-year-old brother, Glenn, melted into his chair in embarrassment.