Julianne Hough breaks down during emotional speech Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19: TV personality Julianne Hough attends the 3rd Annual Airbnb Open Spotlight at Various Locations on November 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Love and acceptance is a message Julianne Hough isn’t afraid to stand up for, and she did just that at the recent LOVELOUD Festival in Utah. The 29-year-old dancer/actress, who took the stage in her home state to introduce Imagine Dragons, cried as she praised the audience for attending the event and spoke of the importance of standing up for the issues you feel are important.

Julianne admitted it wasn’t always easy for her to do so. “Here’s my honest truth: Being a public figure and to use my voice has always been hard for me, because I don’t always know how to express how I feel or what I believe in,” she confessed. “And the pressure to be politically correct has always weighed on me. Unfortunately, at times, that has caused me to distance myself from a lot of important issues, especially when they don’t necessarily affect me directly.”

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The newlywed, who tied the knot with Brooks Laich on July 8, candidly shared her feelings onstage at the festival, which benefited GLAAD, The Trevor Project and other charities and was attended my more than 17,000 people. The festival was designed to create awareness about teen suicide, particularly among LGBT youth, and to promote love and acceptance.

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Julianne became emotional as she told the crowd, “There’s a great saying, ‘If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.’ Well, I can tell you, I am so happy that I know what I stand for … Spreading joy and love is a mission I take very, very seriously. With all the chaos that is in the world today, the idea that we all need to love loud has never been more relevant or more needed.”

Deborah Evans Price believes everyone has a story to tell and, as a journalist, she considers it a great privilege to share those stories with the world. Winner of the CMA’s 2013 Media Achievement Award, Deborah contributes to Redbook, Billboard, People, Live Happy, First for Women and Simple Grace, among others.
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