On top of being a dancer, actress, and America’s Got Talent judge, Julianne Hough is also a singer.
This is a fact that you may have forgotten, since Hough hasn’t released any new music since 2010 (with the exception of the Grease LIVE! soundtrack in 2016).
Hough kicked off her singing career in country music, releasing her debut, self-titled album in 2008. The record topped the Country Albums chart and produced two hit singles, “That Song in My Head” and “My Hallelujah Song.”
The former song charted at the 18th spot, while the latter claimed the 44th position.
Just months after Hough dropped her debut record, she released a Christmas album, titled Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection. That album charted at the second spot on both the Country Albums and the Top Holiday Albums charts.
Hough’s country music debut was so successful, that she went on to win the 2009 ACM Awards for Top New Female Vocalist and Top New Artist.
Hough followed up on her win with another new single in 2010, titled “Is That So Wrong.” The single, which failed to chart, was supposed to be the lead single from Hough’s sophomore album Wildfire, but that album was never released.
After that, Hough seemed to put her music career aside to focus more on acting and dancing. Years passed, and Hough continued to stray away from singing.
She finally showcased her voice in Grease LIVE! as Sandy, making fans all the more anxious to hear new music from her. Still, none came.
That all changed on Wednesday night (September 18), when Hough surprised the world by debuting a brand-new single on the AGT finale. The single, titled “Transform,” is her first new release in nine years.
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When I started doing music 10 years ago, I was a performer by nature. I wanted to be on stage, I wanted to sing, I wanted to dance – I wanted to pour my heart out. And I did it, but there was always a piece that felt inauthentic, because I was just PUSHING to get people to LIKE and ACCEPT me. At one point I actually just gave up on my music because I found myself constantly comparing myself to other artists. Being the competitor I was, if I wasn’t winning, I was losing. If you/I looked at the reality of what was happening, I was absolutely crushing it. But that was that. I made the call and let music fall to the side – and in doing so, I abandoned the artist in me and went further and further into the performer. About two years ago something shifted. By doing the internal work that needed doing, I found myself (unintentionally!) connecting back to my artist. Just by simply owning all the “ugly” parts of my life. The second I started going into that black hole of what it all represented and really unpacking all of the survival tactics of protection – of not feeling hurt, or like a failure, or like a fraud, I finally got to feel what it truly felt like to be RAW and vulnerable and to see all of these parts for the first time with no judgement. For two years I have been picking those pieces up, nurturing them – and transforming them. I’m not trying to change who I am or suppress those parts of me anymore – but instead, I acknowledge them, take them and TRANSFORM them. As I was doing that in my daily life, I realized all of a sudden that my creativity, my life blood, the entire essence of WHO I AM was coming ALIVE. This is the first time I truly feel like an artist and not a performer simply because everything I’m saying is TRUTH – and I’m not afraid anymore if everyone will like it because it’s just, ME!! it makes me smile it makes me feel alive I actually feel ALIVE. I’m so excited to share this part of me with all of you, this is gonna be so much fun – and it’s just the beginning! Only love and truth, Julianne #TRANSFORM
Hough introduced the song in a post on Instagram. In that post, she explained why she abandoned music for so long, saying she previously felt pressure to be the perfect performer.
“I wanted to pour my heart out,” Hough wrote. “And I did it, but there was always a piece that felt inauthentic, because I was just PUSHING to get people to LIKE and ACCEPT me.”
Hough said she gave up on music because she constantly compared herself to other artists. But something changed two years ago, and she felt her passion for singing come back full force.
She said that once she tapped into her emotions and flaws, she found herself transforming into a better person and artist. And that’s what inspired her new single.
“I’m not trying to change who I am or suppress those parts of me anymore – but instead, I acknowledge them, take them and TRANSFORM them,” she said.
Hough channeled those empowering thoughts into “Transform,” which she finally shared on the AGT finale. The song is not country like Hough’s previous releases, but instead, takes on a pop vibe. You can watch her perform it in the video below.
Congratulations to Hough on the release of her new single! We can’t wait to hear what else she has in store!