Wu was born in Santa Monica, California, and lived in Newport Beach in his mid-to-late teens. After graduating from Corona Del Mar High School, he worked as a telemarketer before moving to Taiwan at the early age of 21 to "search for more to life".
On November 15, 2013, Wu married his longtime girlfriend, Singaporean heiress and entrepreneur Arissa Cheo, in Los Angeles.
Wu studied performance arts and acting classes in Hollywood, and became a polyglot fluent in Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish, as well as English and Mandarin Chinese.
Wu starred as Mei Zuo (美作), one of the F4 members, in the Taiwanese drama series Meteor Garden and its sequel, Meteor Garden II. At the conclusion of the series, they continued to perform together and released three studio albums as the boy band F4. In 2002, Wu became the second F4 member, after Vic Chou, to release his debut solo album, Body Will Sing. The track, "I Hate Myself" is listed at number 95 on Hit Fm Taiwan's Hit Fm Annual Top 100 Singles Chart for 2002. The album was awarded as one of the "Top 10 Selling Mandarin Albums of the Year" at the 2002 IFPI Hong Kong Album Sales Awards, presented by the Hong Kong branch of IFPI.
In 2003, he was featured on Beyoncé's single "Crazy in Love", featured on her album Dangerously In Love.
In 2004, Wu made his film debut in the Hong Kong film Star Runner and was nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Newcomer.
In 2006, he collaborated with Korean singer Kangta, forming Kangta & Vanness. The duo released the album Scandal.
In 2008, Wu was announced as the opening act for Kanye West's "Glow In The Dark" concert in Shanghai.
Wu has appeared in several Taiwanese dramas as well as motion pictures. In 2009, he starred in Autumn's Concerto, one of the highest-rated Taiwanese idol drama. He also released his first Japanese single "Only", which entered Top 10 of the Oricon Chart, as well as another single "I don't wanna lose you".
In 2010, Wu became the executive producer for the television series Year Of The Rain.
Wu’s third Chinese solo album C'est La V was released July 2011 under Universal Music Taiwan. It features collaborations with international artistes such as Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic, as well as Bruno Mars and Justin Michael who wrote the track "Knockin".
Besides directing, producing, acting, and singing, Wu is also the creator/designer of his own jewelry line 3.V.O.7. He is also the creative director of Reebok (greater China division).
In 2012, Wu won the "Best Crossover Singer" at the 16th Chinese Global Music Charts.
In 2013, Wu joined Jiangsu TV's diving variety show Stars in Danger: The High Dive, and won the silver medal.
In January 2015, Wu was announced to be one of the judges of the talent show Asia's Got Talent, along with Indonesian-French singer Anggun, Canadian musician David Foster, and former Spice Girls member Melanie C, which aired from March to May on AXN Asia.
In July 2015, Wu returned to the Philippines after a decade of his first visit for the special show for the #LiveinLevis event sponsored by Levi's in line with the launch of the Women's Denim Collection for Fall 2015. Wu's performance was a way of thanking the brand's fans and style seekers.
In 2016, it was announced that Wu will star in his first Chinese television series The Princess Weiyoung alongside Tiffany Tang, as well as the science fiction film Pili Back.2006 - Scandal - Kangta & Vanness Collaboration
Beyoncé – "Crazy in Love" (Asian releases only) 
Coco Lee – "Hip Hop Tonight" 
Brian Joo – "Everything to Me"  - 3rd Wave Music - I WILL BE THERE Album - www.3rdwavemusic.org
Sammi Cheng – "Forgiveness" (In both English and Chinese) 
Lee Junho – "Undefeated"  (M/V)
Avicii – "Levels" (Mandarin Version) 
David Foster, Anggun and Melanie C – "Let's Groove" (charity single for the victims of Nepal earthquake) 
Danson Tang, Selina Ren, Diamond Zhang, Madoka Yonezawa, Siwon, Yao Yao, Rainie Yang, Amber Kuo, Wayne Huang - "Blessing (Chinese edition)" 
Legend Computers (China region)
Mingle Shoes (China region)
Lu Piao Shampoo (China region)
Samuel & Kevin
Bicowave & Bicogirl
Pepsi - 2002~2005 (Taiwan, Hong Kong, China)
Yamaha - 2003 (Southeast Asia)
Hang Ten - 2012
Hyundai - 2012
G-Shock - 2014
Casio - 2014
Levi Strauss & Co. - 2014