From being educated in professional dancing in London, to dancing with the stars in Los Angeles, Julianne Hough has come a long way before ultimately achieving her childhood dream of becoming a country music sensation. Since gaining remarkable recognition from her performances on the highly acclaimed television reality show, Dancing With The Stars, Hough has raised money for tornado victims in Kansas as well as releasing her debut country album, Julianne Hough. She is quickly becoming a household name…for those non die-hard Dancing With The Stars fans that hadn’t already grown accustom to her.
Julianne Hough: Dancing Her Way To Nashville
Hough was born in Salt Lake City to Mormon parents and was one of five children. She began her dance career at the Center Stage Performing Arts Studio and by age nine was dancing in competitions. At 10, she was sent to London with her brother, Derek, also a professional dancer, to live and train with Corky and Shirley Ballas, two, world-renown dance professionals. The siblings trained alongside the Ballas’ son Mark. They were trained at Italia Conti Academy, the oldest theater for the arts in London.
Julianne and Mark soon became dance partners and eventually, the three formed the music group 2B1G, symbolizing that there were two boys and one girl. After five years of rigorous training and competition in London, Hough returned to the states to complete her high school education before setting her sights on stardom.
Taking The Lead
Hough hit Hollywood with force when she won the fourth season of Dancing With The Stars with partner and Olympic gold medalist speed skater, Apolo Anton Ohno. She was the youngest professional dancer to win out of the shows previous three seasons. She won for a second time, in the shows 5th season, when she and partner, Helio Castroneves, a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, out-danced another show favorite, “Scary Spice” Melanie Brown of the Spice Girls.
In August of 2008, she was rushed to the hospital after feeling stomach pains while performing the jitterbug on Dancing With The Stars, with partner Cody Linley, from Hanna Montana. On October 28, Hough had surgery to remove her appendix, and ultimately gave up her spot on the show to recover. By late November, Julianne had decided not to return to dancing, as she wanted to follow a path in the country music business.
Julianne Leaves Songs In Your Head
The road to Nashville wasn’t exactly the straightest, passing through Utah, London, and then Hollywood, but in May 2007, Julianne released her first song, “Will You Dance With Me” to help raise money for the American Red Cross. The proceeds helped give aid to victims of tornados in Kansas.
After “Will You Dance With Me” peaked at #100 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart, she signed a record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville. The self-titled album enjoyed the #3 spot on Billboard 200 when it debuted on May 20, 2008. It features two of her most notorious songs to date, That Song In My Head, and My Hallelujah Song, both having received immense praise.
On The Road In June, Hough joined Jewel and Brad Paisley on his “Paisley Party Tour.” In early December, George Strait released statements saying that Hough would also be opening for him on his summer tour, which starts May 15 in Charlotte, N.C. Toby Keith has also asked Hough to perform for several of his tour dates in early February.
Fun Julianne Facts:
- Julianne was born on July 20, 1988 in Provo, Utah.
- She is the youngest professional dancer to compete on Dancing With The Stars.
- Julianne was engaged to Zack Wilson, a member of the champion team on Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann.
- Julianne's favorite country songs of all times include "Cry" by Faith Hill, "Independence Day" by Martina McBride, "Delta Dawn" by Tanya Tucker, "Fancy" by Reba McEntire and "Your Man" by Josh Turner.
- Julianne's album's was the highest country debut for any new artist since 2006.
Release Date: May 20th 2008
Label: Mercury Nashville
01. That Song In My Head
02. You, You, You
03. Hide Your Matches
04. My Hallelujah Song
05. Jimmy Ray McGee
06. Dreaming Under The Same Moon
07. About Life
09. Help Me, Help You
10. Love Yourself
11. I'd Just Be With You