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Julianne Hough on Country Career: ‘Something Was Missing’

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

As the host of his own radio show, E! News and ‘American Idol,’ along with running his own production company, Ryan Seacrest is often called the hardest-working man in show business. But his girlfriend of nearly two years isn’t far behind. With roles in ‘Burlesque,’ ‘Footloose’ and ‘Rock of Ages,’ Julianne Hough continues to make a name for herself in Hollywood, while simultaneously plotting a possible ‘Dancing With the Stars’ return. She had also planned on carving out time to release a new country album, but it seems those plans are now on hold.

Julianne told NBC last year that her sophomore album is done, and she was tempted to release it online herself. But she refrained, knowing it would upset her record label. So now she’s found the silver lining by using the time she would’ve spent marketing her music on building her acting resume.

“I definitely tried that avenue [music] when I finished ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ and it’s something that I’ve loved to do ever since I was little,” Julianne tells Parade magazine. “I’ve always wanted to sing country music, but I think something was missing for me and I feel like I’ve gotten that connection with the film world, so I’m going to keep going with that. That’s not to say I’m not going to keep writing and singing. I love it so much and I could never be without it.”

While the release date of her new music is still in limbo, Julianne can be seen on the big screen starting June 1, when ‘Rock of Ages‘ hits theaters. The singer-dancer-actress stars alongside Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Mary J Blige and several other Hollywood heavyweights in the flick. Centered around Julianne’s character, a small-town girl who comes to Los Angeles to find fame and winds up caught in the wild world of rock and roll, the film is set in 1987 (a year before Julianne herself was born). It features cast members performing classic ’80s hits such as Twisted Sister‘s ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ and Starship‘s ‘We Built This City.’ (Watch a preview of the movie below.)

“It was incredible. It was like a big concert party every single day,” Julianne says of filming ‘Rock of Ages.’ “We got to sing these songs that are so well known, and we got to be in the ’80s and have fun with that. And the cast was incredible, of course! It’s very cool to be able to say that my first real film was ‘Footloose’ and my second film I got to star alongside Tom Cruise and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I’m very fortunate and I know it doesn’t happen like that every day, so I’m counting my blessings and working really hard.”

With all that hard work, Julianne still finds time for her similarly busy beau. The couple will celebrate two years of dating this spring, and their relationship seems stronger than ever.

“It’s a hard thing to do, especially when you’re so caught up in your work and bettering yourself,” Julianne tells Parade. “It does get hard because you’re so focused on that, but at the end of the day you have to find a balance with what’s really important. I’m so lucky that I have a great relationship. I’m very blessed and I don’t take anything for granted. If you alienate people and just focus on your work, then it just becomes lonely and it’s not fun anymore.”

Watch the ‘Rock of Ages’ Trailer

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Watch Julianne Sing Live in Our Studio
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