Julianne Hough is a professional American dancer, actress and country music singer, best known for being on the reality competition show ‘Dancing With the Stars.’
Who Is Julianne Hough?
Born in 1988, Julianne Hough is a professional American dancer who became known to mainstream audiences when she appeared on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, starting in 2004. She won the reality show competition twice (in Season 4 and 5) and officially became a judge for the hit show in 2014. The following year she earned an Emmy for Outstanding Choreography with fellow choreographers Tessandra Chavez and Derek Hough, her famous older and equally talented brother. The success of the show opened up more opportunities for Hough. She pursued her love of music, releasing a self-titled album that rocked the top of the country music charts in 2008, and a few years later, made her leading lady acting debut in the Footloose (2011) reboot. In 2016 she nabbed another major role, playing Sandy in the live remake of Grease on the Fox.
Hough has an estimated net worth of $10 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Wedding & Husband
On July 8, 2017, Hough married hockey player Brooks Laich, 34, in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The wedding boasted 200 of the couple's closest family and friends, which for Hough, included Vampire Diaries actress Nina Dobrev, who was a bridesmaid at her wedding.
Having the momentous occasion at Lake Coeur d'Alene held sentimental value for Hough, as she had spent her summers there as a child.
“When I introduced Brooks to the lake, he fell in love with this special spot, and we knew this was where we wanted to raise our family and grow old together,” Hough told People. “It just felt right to be married here.”
Hough and Laich met in December 2013, while Laich was playing for the Los Angeles Kings. The couple got engaged in 2015.
Prior to her relationship to Laich, Hough had famously dated Ryan Seacrest from 2010 to 2013.
Hough has four siblings: three older sisters and one older brother, Derek, who's also a veteran and champion on Dancing With the Stars.
Dancing in competitions since age nine, Hough made her star turn on Season Four of Dancing With the Stars when she and her celebrity partner, speed-skating Olympian Apolo Ohno were voted champions that year. She followed up with yet another win in Season 5 with Indianapolis 500 Brazilian racecar driver Hélio Castroneves. Hough stayed on for an additional three more seasons before pursuing music and acting projects. However, after serving as a guest judge in 2013, she was invited back in 2014 to be a permanent judge on the hit show.
Another huge venture in 2014 turned into a family affair. Julianne and Derek launched Move Live on Tour, a 40-plus city dance-a-thon concert event, which brought the siblings' singing and dancing talents on stage, along with co-choreographers and fellow Emmy Award-winning lyrical hip-hoppers the Nappytabs. The sold-out tour was so successful, Julianne and Derek launched an additional one the following summer and announced a new iteration, MOVE BEYOND Live on Tour, for 2017.
Movies and TV
Just like her big brother Derek, Hough's introduction to acting began in the Harry Potter franchise. She was employed as an extra in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001), and almost a decade later, played a dancer in the musical Burlesque (2010), which boasted Cher and Christina Aguilera as headliners.
A year later, she made huge strides in her acting career, this time nabbing the female lead — her first ever — in the reboot of Footloose (2011) as Ariel Moore. In 2012 she starred in the film adaptation of Broadway's Rock of Ages and added yet another musical to her list, playing the lead role of Sandy in Fox's Grease: Live in 2016.
“It’s a little daunting,” she told Variety about starring in Fox's rendition of the beloved musical, “especially because Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta have completely made these roles iconic.”
Despite her jitters, the television special was a ratings hit for the network.
Outside of utilizing her vocal chords and dance moves, Hough made time for non-musical fare, too. In 2012 she starred in the Nicholas Sparks' drama Safe Haven with Josh Duhamel and the next year in Diablo Cody's dramedy Paradise with Russell Brand, among other films.
Country Music Career
After the release of her first country single, 2007's "Will You Dance With Me," Hough released her eponymous debut album the following year. Despite receiving mixed reactions from music critics, the album soared to the top of the country music charts and reached the no. 3 spot on Billboard. Her first single from the album, "That Song in My Head" went on to be a Top 20 country hit. Just in time for the holidays, Hough also released a Christmas EP. In 2009 she won the crowd-sourced Top New Female Vocalist award at the Academy of Country Music Awards.
Although she had completed her sophomore album, Wildfire, the tepid reaction to its first single "Is That So Wrong" contributed to Hough's decision not to release the album and to instead, focus on her acting career. However, she made a point to say that her music was only temporarily on pause.
Julianne Hough was born on July 20, 1988 in Orem, Utah to a Mormon family. She comes from a long line of dancers and musicians in her extended family.
She was nine when she began dancing in competitions and was sent to London with her brother Derek at age 10 to live with her dancing coaches to further learn her craft. All wasn't well, though: despite earning a scholarship to the renowned Italia Conti Academy of Arts, the siblings were under much stress as their parents were in the midst of a divorce. Added onto that, Julianne had experienced a range of abuse in London and claimed she was pressured to express a hyper-sexualized image; to this day, she refuses to discuss the experience in detail.
"While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything," she told Cosmopolitan in 2013. "I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love," she confessed.
Despite the traumatic experience, Hough found her way back to the U.S. with her brother and finished high school as she prepared for better days ahead.