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Entertainment News

Sunday, 3 August, 2008 1:54 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Julianne Hough

Photo by Ondrea Barbe

Mercury Nashville recording artist Julianne Hough

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

The world already knows that Julianne Hough can dance. That secret was let out in her teens, when she became the youngest and only American to win both the International Latin Youth and Junior Blackpool World Latin Dance championships. After that she served as assistant choreographer on Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up" video, a dancer on ABC-TV's "Show Me the Money" and two-time grand prize winner on ABC-TV's "Dancing with the Stars." Her future, it seemed, was in her feet.

Yet Hough describes singing as her "truest passion." She learned to do harmony parts as one of five singing siblings back home in Utah. From the five years of dance study she pursued in the United Kingdom to her national "DWTS" tours, Hough nurtured her dreams for a vocal career until a meeting with producer David Malloy steered her to Nashville and into the studio, where they laid the tracks for her self-titled Mercury Nashville debut album.

It was worth the wait. Hough has picked 11 songs that perfectly suit her confident, down-home-girl delivery. Her upbeat personality comes through on her first single, "That Song in My Head," penned by Jim Collins, Wendell Mobley and Tony Martin, "Hello" and the other up-tempo tracks. And when she caresses the soulful, slow-dance "Jimmy Ray McGee," the heartbreak ballad "Help Me, Help You" and the dreamily romantic "I'd Just Be with You," her deft and even playful touch keeps the emotion from growing too dark. Clearly, Hough can dance with a lyric as well as with the stars.

IN HER OWN WORDS

MUSICAL HERO

"Faith Hill."

DREAM DUET PARTNER

"John Mayer."

SONG YOU WISH YOU'D WRITTEN

"'Mississippi Girl' - that's how I feel."

SONG YOU SING IN THE SHOWER

"My vocal warm-ups."

PET PEEVE

"Guys that wear their pants too low."

CD IN YOUR STEREO

"Colbie Caillat's Coco."

BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND

"The Bible."

MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU PREFER

"Walking."

ACTOR TO PORTRAY YOU IN A BIOPIC ABOUT YOUR LIFE

"Dakota Fanning or Scarlett Johansson."

MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE TO RELIVE IF YOU COULD

"Now. I would want to relive this over and over again."

WHEN THEY LOOK BACK ON YOUR LIFE IN 50 YEARS, WHAT YOU HOPE PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU

"That I was always true to who I am."

On the Web: www.juliannehough.com

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