DWTS star Derek Hough gives emotional Emmys speech following his wife Hayley’s health scare

derek hough face shot from 2020 Power of Love Gala at Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada
DWTS judge Derek Hough became emotional as he accepted his fourth Emmy award. Pic credit: ©

Derek Hough had an emotional moment on stage as he received his award at the 75th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards a month after his wife’s health scare arrived.

He received the award for Outstanding Choreography for Variety or Reality Programming for his work on Dancing With the Stars’ Higher dance routine.

The 38-year-old DWTS judge reflected on how his wife’s “life-changing moment” reminded him to “really cherish and really savor every moment.”

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A clip from part of Hough’s speech arrived via Extra TV in which he choked back tears as he spoke.

“What a stark contrast it’s been. I just flew in last night from DC, and so this is a nice welcome home gift, and I want to dedicate this to my beautiful wife,” he said, pausing briefly as colleagues applauded.

“Your strength and your courage this whole month has been unbelievable. You inspire me every single day. The way you accepted this moment, and you surrendered, and your strength. I just want to say thank you all so much,” he said before the clip ended.

Hough’s wife was hospitalized during his dance tour

Hough was away on his Symphony of Dance Tour in early December, which he joined after Season 32 of DWTS.

Hough’s wife, Hayley Erbert, also a dancer on the tour, was reportedly hospitalized when she became disoriented after a show.

Derek’s sister, Julianne Hough, was among those showing support and asking for others’ support and prayers.

Later, it was revealed that Hayley was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma from a burst blood vessel.

She underwent an emergency craniectomy for the issue and had a second brain surgery later in December.

On December 21, Hough revealed that his wife’s cranioplasty surgery was “successfully completed as planned” and thanked others for the outpouring of love and support during her health situation.

“This surgery marks a significant milestone in my wife’s recovery journey, and your support has played a crucial role in getting us here. We are filled with hope and optimism for the future, knowing she is on the path to a full recovery, surrounded by such a loving community,” he wrote in his Instagram update post.

Hayley Erbert celebrated Derek’s latest Emmy win

Taking to Instagram on Monday, Hayley showed love and support for her husband as she congratulated him on a fourth Emmy. Hough also claimed the award in 2013, 2015, and 2021.

Hayley shared a carousel post of photos that featured her and her husband together, as well as one of him holding his trophy for a Creative Arts Emmys photo.

“What a way to be welcomed home after such an unfathomable month. @derekhough, you continue to amaze me with your drive, brilliance, and commitment to excellence. I have loved being able to witness and be a part of your journey this far and cannot wait to see what else the future holds. I love you more than anything and am so unbelievably proud of you, today and always,” she wrote in her caption.

Hough and Hayley married last August in Monterey, California, after getting engaged in June 2022. In September 2023, they enjoyed a honeymoon in Italy.

Per GMA’s report, among the 106 guests who attended their beautiful wedding ceremony were Hough’s former dance partners Maria Menounos and Shawn Johnson, as well as his sister Julianne.

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