Julianne Hough Biography

Julianne Hough's 2008 debut CD. Photo by Ondrea Barbe, courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Every country artist once had a "day job" — that commonly used music business term for an occupation that pays the bills and fills the void between hopeful aspiration and bonafide success. However, never in the history of country music has someone taken a more celebrated path on the road to their country music dream than Julianne Hough (pronounced "Huff").

A triple threat as a singer, actress and dancer, Julianne is already known to millions of fans as the two-time professional dance champion on ABC-TV’s top-rated "Dancing with the Stars" (DWTS). The show, which pairs professional dancers with music, sports, film and television celebrities, has become a cultural phenomenon and Julianne its top star.

Though Julianne has been winning world dance titles since her early teens, her ultimate goal has always been a career in country music. Her newly signed deal with Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN) is providing her the vehicle to realize that dream. "I’ve always wanted to sing country music," says the 19 year-old blonde. "I’ve grown up with country music. I love how real everybody is, not just the artists, but the fans."

Growing up one of five Utah-born siblings, Julianne says her family was sometimes referred to as the "blonde Osmonds," earning a reputation for their talent and professionalism. At age 10 her parents separated and Julianne immersed herself in dancing. An opportunity presented itself to study performing arts in London, which started a period of intense training and being far away from family and in a fast-paced city, was forced to grow up fast.

After five years in the U.K., Julianne elected to leave behind a blossoming international career and move back to the U.S. "I really wanted to sing and I knew if I stayed in London, I wouldn’t be able to do that; I would only be dancing, so I had to make a really tough decision: ‘Do I stay here and pursue a career that I know I’m going to succeed at? Or do I go back home, start from scratch and pursue what I really want to do?’ A lot of people told me that I was crazy and that I’d never make it."