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Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough (25831904580) (cropped).jpg
Hough in 2016
Julianne Alexandra Hough

(1988-07-20) July 20, 1988 (age 35)
Alma mater Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
  • Dancer
  • actress
  • singer
Years active 2001–present
Brooks Laich
(m. 2017; div. 2022)
Relatives Derek Hough (brother)
Hayley Erbert (sister-in-law)
Musical career
Genres Country
Instruments Vocals
Labels Mercury Nashville
Associated acts

Julianne Alexandra Hough ( born July 20, 1988) is an American dancer, actress, singer and television personality. In 2007, she joined the cast of ABC's Dancing with the Stars as a professional dancer, winning two seasons with her celebrity partners. After leaving the show in 2009, she returned in 2014 to serve as a permanent judge on Dancing with the Stars, a position she held until 2017. For her work on the series, she has received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography, winning once in 2015 with her brother Derek Hough.

Hough made her acting debut in the 2001 film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but played her first major role in the 2010 film Burlesque, which was followed with leading roles as Ariel in Footloose (2011), Sherrie in Rock of Ages (2012), and Katie in Safe Haven (2013). Hough portrayed Sandy in the 2016 live Fox television production of Grease. She also served as a judge on America's Got Talent for its 14th season. In 2022, she made her Broadway theatre debut. That same year, she hosted The Tony Awards: Act One alongside Darren Criss. In 2023, Hough returned to Dancing with the Stars as co-host, alongside main host Alfonso Ribeiro.

Early life

Hough was born in Orem, Utah, the youngest of five children in a Mormon family. Her parents are Bruce and Marianne Hough; her father was twice chairman of the Utah Republican Party and ran for Utah's 2nd congressional district in 2023. Her brother, Derek Hough, is also a professional dancer. She has three older sisters. All four of Hough's grandparents were dancers. She is also a second cousin of musicians Riker, Rydel, Rocky and Ross Lynch from R5, their maternal grandmothers being sisters.

Hough's formal training began at the Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Orem where she danced with Josh Murillo, among others, in Latin Ballroom. She began dancing competitively at nine. When she was 10, Julianne's parents, who were divorcing, sent Julianne and her brother Derek to London to live and study with their coaches, Corky and Shirley Ballas. The Ballases tutored the Houghs alongside their own son, Mark. At the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts Hough and her brother received training in song, theatre, gymnastics and many forms of dance, including jazz, ballet, and tap. When Hough was 12, the three children formed their own pop music trio 2B1G ("2 Boys, 1 Girl"). They performed at dance competitions in the UK and the U.S., and showcased in a UK television show. At 15, Hough became the youngest dancer, and the only American, to win both Junior World Latin Champion and International Latin Youth Champion at the Blackpool Dance Festival. After returning to the U.S., she attended the Las Vegas Academy and Alta High School.


Hough performing in March 2009

Hough was one of the Million Dollar Dancers in the 2006 ABC game show called Show Me the Money. She won season four of the U.S. edition of Dancing with the Stars with her partner, Olympic gold medal-winning speed skater Apolo Ohno, making Hough the youngest professional dancer to win on the program. On November 27, 2007, Hough and her partner, three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves, became the winners of season five. Hough returned for season six with radio host/comedian Adam Carolla, but they were eliminated in week four. In July 2008, Hough was nominated at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards in the category of "Outstanding Choreography" for her mambo "Para Los Rumberos" (performed with partner Hélio Castroneves) on Dancing with the Stars.

On August 25, 2008, the cast of season seven was announced, and Hough was partnered with Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley. She felt abdominal pains during their jitterbug performance on October 21, 2008, and she was immediately rushed to a hospital following the encore performance. She subsequently had surgery to have her appendix removed after being diagnosed with endometriosis, causing her to miss several performances, Edyta Śliwińska stood in for her. Hough returned to the show, although the pair was ultimately eliminated in the semi-finals. She appeared on the November 12 results show dancing the jive to "Great Balls of Fire" with her brother for the "Design-A-Dance" contest.

On November 20, 2008, Hough was on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, On Air with Ryan Seacrest. She announced that, in order to further her music career, she would not be returning to Dancing with the Stars for the foreseeable future. However, she did return for one final time in season eight, partnering with country singer Chuck Wicks. They were voted off in week eight of the competition and came in sixth place. They then began dating after the season was over. On October 11, 2011, Hough returned to Dancing with the Stars and danced with her Footloose co-star Kenny Wormald twice, and with her brother. She returned again on May 15, 2012, in a dance performance to promote her film Rock of Ages. On October 7, 2013, she was guest judge in place of Len Goodman, which was the first time a former pro dancer came back to judge. In September 2014, she returned as a permanent judge on the panel, a position she held until 2017. She returned to the show as a guest judge in 2021, filling in for her brother Derek.

On March 20, 2023, it was announced that Hough will be joining Dancing with the Stars as the new co-host, following Tyra Banks' departure. Previous co-host Alfonso Ribeiro will be assuming Banks' previous role, while Hough will be taking over Ribeiro's previous role.

Move Live On Tour

On March 18, 2014, Hough and her brother Derek announced a summer tour of over 40 cities across the U.S. and Canada, called "Move Live on Tour", which would include dancing and singing from both of them, and the appearance of a group of dancers employed by the Houghs who earned their jobs through auditions. They embarked on the sold-out tour on May 25, 2014, in Park City, Kansas, and ended it in Los Angeles on July 26, 2014. Due to the success of ticket sales and several sold-out venues before the tour had officially kicked off, several more shows were added to the tour schedule, which also sold out. For the tour choreography, the Hough siblings collaborated with Nappytabs.

Following the success of the 2014 tour and high demand, the Houghs announced the return of "Move Live on Tour" in the summer of 2015. Spanning from June 12, 2015, to August 8, 2015, the sold-out tour visited over 40 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada, and visited larger venues than in the previous year. Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo "Nappytabs" returned as collaborating choreographers alongside the Hough siblings. Auditions were also held to recruit a new group of dancers to join the Houghs, although some back-up dancers from the previous year returned.

Julianne Hough 2009 Concert VI
Hough performing at a George Strait Concert in 2009

On December 14, 2016, they announced, via social media, that they would be going on a new tour, "MOVE BEYOND Live on Tour", in 2017.


Hough's first country-music single, "Will You Dance With Me", was released to iTunes and Wal-Mart in May 2007 to raise money for the American Red Cross. The song placed at number 100 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart. She later signed with Universal Music Group Nashville's Mercury Nashville division.

Her 2008 self-titled debut album was recorded in Nashville and produced by David Malloy, who has worked with Reba McEntire and Eddie Rabbitt, among others. Hough's album, which met with mixed reviews, debuted at number one on the Top Country Albums chart on May 31, and also peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. Hough's second single, and the first to be released to country radio, was "That Song in My Head".

Julianne Hough 2009 Birthday Bash I
Hough performing at a 2009 Birthday Bash concert

Hough joined Brad Paisley's 2008 Tour, along with Jewel and Chuck Wicks. Hough, Paisley, and Willie Nelson appeared in the video for the Snoop Dogg song "My Medicine".

Hough appeared in a Juicy Fruit commercial in the fall of 2008, and released an EP of Christmas music called Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection. She performed her second single "My Hallelujah Song" on Dancing With the Stars on November 18, 2008, with her brother Derek Hough, Mark Ballas, and Lacey Schwimmer dancing.

Hough, LeAnn Rimes, Jessica Simpson, and Kellie Pickler announced the 2009 Academy of Country Music Award nominees in February 2009. Hough was nominated for the Top New Female Vocalist award, a fan-voted award, which she subsequently won. Hough won the Top New Artist award at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 5, 2009, and released a single, "Is That So Wrong", to country radio on June 21, 2010. It was intended as the lead single for her second album, Wildfire, but the album was never released.

In June 2012, Hough told AOL's The Boot that her second album was "completely done" and that she was initially "really, really looking forward to the record." However, she also stated that, due to the underperforming lead single and having "a lot of momentum" in her film career, no plans have been made to release Wildfire. She does intend to resume focusing on her music career at some point, though: "I feel like when I have the time to focus on it, and when I feel like it is the right time, [I'll return to] my music," she said.

Acting and other appearances

Hough's first acting role was in the 2001 feature film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in an uncredited role as a "Hogwarts schoolgirl". She appeared in the 2010 musical Burlesque, starring Cher and Christina Aguilera. In the film, which chronicles a small-town girl (Aguilera) who finds success at a Los Angeles burlesque club, Hough plays a dancer named Georgia.

Hough's first leading role was as Ariel Moore in the 2011 remake of the Paramount film Footloose, opposite Kenny Wormald as Ren McCormack. Filming began in September 2010. The film was released on October 14, 2011. Hough played the role of Sherrie Christian in the 2012 film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, alongside Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Malin Akerman. That same year she filmed her starring role opposite Josh Duhamel in the romantic drama Safe Haven, based on the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, which was released on February 14, 2013. Hough also starred in the comedy-drama Paradise as Lamb Mannerheim, which was released on October 18, 2013. She starred alongside Russell Brand, who had previously co-starred with Hough in Rock of Ages.

Hough starred as protagonist Mallory Rutledge in the 2015 thriller film Curve opposite Teddy Sears. That same year she appeared on business coach Lewis Howes' podcast where they had a discussion and it ended with him asking to salsa dance with her. Hough returned to musical performances portraying the role of Sandy Young for Fox's live television presentation of the musical Grease on January 31, 2016. Hough and brother Derek hosted the 2016 The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration and The Disney Parks' Magical Christmas Celebration. It was televised by ABC on Thanksgiving night, November 24, and Christmas Day, December 25. The Hough siblings introduced performances by Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Kelly Clarkson. A companion holiday album, Disney Channel Holiday Hits, was released November 18, 2016.

In 2018, she was cast as Jolene in the episode of the same name from the Netflix anthology series Heartstrings, based on the Dolly Parton song. On February 11, 2019, it was announced that Hough had joined the NBC talent competition series America's Got Talent. However, she was announced to be exiting in November 22 in the same year after one season.

In 2020, Hough partnered with entertainment company Meet Cute for a three-part Transformation podcast series. Meet Cute, along with Hough's production banner, Canary House Productions, wrote, executive produced, and voice acted in the series. As the title of the series suggests, Transformation aligns with Canary House's mission to impact lives through stories of transformation, self-discovery and identity.

Personal life

In October 2013, Hough told the New York Post that although she was no longer a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she was glad that she was raised in the church.

Hough dated fellow country singer Chuck Wicks from August 2008 to November 2009; when the two had a mutual break-up, it inspired Hough's song "Is That So Wrong". Hough dated Ryan Seacrest from April 2010 to March 2013. In February 2014, it was revealed that she had begun dating NHL player Brooks Laich, then of the Washington Capitals, in December 2013. The couple announced their engagement on August 18, 2015, and were married on July 8, 2017. They separated in 2020, but later attempted to reconcile. Hough filed for divorce on November 2, 2020; the divorce was finalized on February 22, 2022.

Dancing with the Stars performances

Season Partner Place
4 Apolo Anton Ohno 1st
5 Hélio Castroneves 1st
6 Adam Carolla 9th
7 Cody Linley 4th
8 Chuck Wicks 6th

With Apolo Anton Ohno

(average 27.53)

Week Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha cha/ "Let's Hear It for the Boy" 7 7 7 No elimination
2 Quickstep/ "Two Hearts" 8 9 9 Safe
3 Jive/ "You Never Can Tell" 7 8 8 Safe
4 Waltz/ "If You Don't Know Me by Now" 9 8 9 Safe
5 Samba/ "I Like to Move It" 10 10 10 Safe
6 Rumba/ "Cool" 9 9 10 Safe
Swing/"Rock This Town" N/A N/A N/A
7 Foxtrot/ "Steppin' Out with My Baby" 9 9 9 Safe
Mambo/ "Dr. Beat" 10 10 10
8 Tango/ "Jessie's Girl" 10 10 10 Safe
Paso doble/ "Carnaval de Paris" 10 10 10
Quickstep/ "Mr. Pinstripe Suit" 10 10 10 Bottom 2
Cha cha/ "Push It" 10 9 10
Rumba/ "Midnight Train to Georgia" 9 9 10 Winner
Freestyle/ "Bust a Move" 10 10 10
Paso doble/ "Carnaval de Paris" 10 10 10

With Hélio Castroneves

(average 27.13)

Week Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Bewitched theme" 8 9 8 Safe
2 Mambo/ "Para Los Rumberos" 9 9 9 Safe
3 Jive/ "Kids in America" 8 8 8 Safe
4 Viennese Waltz/ "Iris" 9 9 9 Safe
5 Rumba/ "Apologize" 8 7 8 Safe
6 Cha cha/ "Get Up Offa That Thing" 9 10 9 Safe
Rock and Roll/ "Rockin' Robin" N/A N/A N/A
7 Tango/ "Jean Genie" 9 8 8 Safe
Samba/Candela 9 9 9
8 Paso doble/"Amparito Roco" 9 9 9 Safe
Quickstep/ "Hey Pachuco" 9 9 9
Foxtrot/ "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" 10 10 10 Last to be called safe
Cha cha "Love Rollercoaster" 10 10 10
Jive "Let's Twist Again" 8 8 9 Winner
Freestyle/ "Land of a Thousand Dances" 9 10 10
Quickstep/ "Hey Pachuco" 10 10 10

With Adam Carolla

(average 18.5)

Week Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/ "Mellow Yellow" 5 5 5 N/A
2 Mambo/ "House of Bamboo" 6 7 6 Safe
3 Tango/ "I Can't Tell a Waltz from a Tango" 7 7 7 Safe
4 Paso doble/ "Plaza of Execution" 6 7 6 Eliminated

With Cody Linley

(average 23.56)

Week Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha cha/ "Tilt Ya Head Back" 6 6 6 Safe
1 Quickstep/ "I Want You to Want Me" 8 7 8 Safe
2 Rumba/ "Bleeding Love" 7 7 7 Safe
3 Jive/ "Call Me the Breeze" 7 7 7 Safe
4 Tango/ "Bohemian Like You" 7 8 8 Safe
5 Jitterbug/ "Big Time Operator" 10 9 9 Safe
6 Samba/ "Whine Up" 8 8* 7 Safe
Old school hip hop/ "It Takes Two" No scores given
7 Viennese Waltz/ "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?"
Replaced by Edyta Śliwińska
8 7 7 Last to be called safe
Team cha-cha-cha/ "Mercy"
Replaced by Edyta Śliwińska
6 7 7
8 Foxtrot/ "Call Me Irresponsible"
Replaced by Edyta Śliwińska
8 8 8 Last to be called safe
Mambo/ "My Way"
Replaced by Edyta Śliwińska
8 8 8
Paso doble/ "Le Disko" 8 7 7 Eliminated (4th place)
Salsa/ "Juventud del Presente" 8 8 8

With Chuck Wicks

(average 23.22)

Week Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Waltz/"Are You Lonesome Tonight?" 6 7 7 No elimination
2 Salsa/"Say Hey (I Love You)" 6 7 7 Safe
3 Foxtrot/"All I Want To Do" 8 7 8 Safe
4 Lindy Hop/"Summertime Blues" 8 7 7 Safe
5 Viennese Waltz/"Feels Like Today" 7 8 8 Safe
6 Rumba/"She Will Be Loved" 8 7 8 Safe
7 Samba/"Balla, Balla"
1960s group dance/"The Clapping Song"
8 Cha cha/ "Outta Love"
Team Mambo/ "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)"


Albums / EPs

Title Album details Peak chart
US Country US US Holiday
Julianne Hough
  • Release date: May 20, 2008
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
1 3
Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection (EP)
  • Release date: October 12, 2008
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
2 24 2


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country US
US Pop
2007 "Will You Dance With Me" 114 100 Non-album song
2008 "That Song in My Head" 18 88 84 Julianne Hough
"My Hallelujah Song" 44
2010 "Is That So Wrong" Wildfire (unreleased)
2019 "Transform" Non-album song
"—" denotes releases did not chart

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Peak chart positions Album
2010 "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" Artists for Haiti 2 7 1 9 8 5 15 Non-album song

Soundtrack appearances

Title Album details Peak chart
Rock of Ages
  • Release date: June 5, 2012
  • Label: WaterTower Music
Grease Live! (Music from the Television Event) 37

Music videos

Year Song Director
2008 "That Song in My Head" Trey Fanjoy
"My Hallelujah Song" Wayne Isham
2010 "We Are the World 25 for Haiti" Paul Haggis
"Is That So Wrong" Adam Shankman



Year Title Role Notes
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Hogwarts schoolgirl Uncredited extra
2010 Burlesque Georgia
2011 Footloose Ariel Moore
2012 Rock of Ages Sherrie Christian
2013 Safe Haven Katie Feldman / Erin Tierney
Paradise Lamb Mannerhelm
2015 Curve Mallory Rutledge
2016 Dirty Grandpa Meredith Goldstein
2018 The Steam Engines of Oz Locasta Voice role
Bigger Betty Weider


Year Title Role Notes
2006 Show Me the Money Herself/Dancer 7 episodes (2 unaired)
2007–2009 Dancing with the Stars Dancer/Choreographer Season 4–8
2013, 2014, 2017,
Guest Judge Season 17–18, 25, 30
2014–2017; 2021 Judge Seasons 19–24
2023 Co-Host Season 32
2011 Keeping Up with the Kardashians Herself Episode: "Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event – Part 2"
Strictly Come Dancing Herself/Dancer Episode: "Week 3: The Results"
2012 Punk'd Herself Episode: "Kellan Lutz"
2014 Nashville Episode: "I'm Coming Home to You"
2015 Lip Sync Battle Episode: "Julianne Hough vs Derek Hough"
2016–2017 Miss USA Herself / Host Special
2016 Running Wild with Bear Grylls Herself Season 3, episode 2
Grease Live! Sandy Special
Speechless Miss Bloom Episode: "C-h-o-Choir"
2016–17, 2020–22 Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration Herself / Host Special
2019 Billboard Music Awards Herself / Presenter Special
Heartstrings Jolene Episode: "Jolene"
America's Got Talent Herself / Judge Season 14
2020 The Disney Family Singalong Herself Special
2022 Step into the Movies with Derek and Julianne Hough


Year Title Role Notes
2022 POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great ... Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive Dusty Broadway debut
Shubert Theatre, Broadway


Year Title Notes
2015 Lewis Howes: The School of Greatness Episode: "Julianne Hough on Finding Your Passion and Following Your Purpose"
The podcast ended with a video of Lewis Howes testing his salsa dancing skills with Hough

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Choreography Dancing with the Stars Nominated
2009 Dancing with the Stars shared with Derek Hough
2011 ShoWest Female Rising Star of 2011 N/A Won
2012 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Breakout Rock of Ages Nominated
2015 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Choreography (tie) Dancing with the Stars shared with Derek Hough & Tessandra Chavez Won

See also

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