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Birth Name: Amanda Lee Williford
Date of Birth: January 22, 1981
Place of Birth: Ruskin, Florida, USA
Height: 5' 7"
|Willa Ford Biography
Willa Ford was born Amanda Lee Williford on January 22, 1981, in Ruskin, Florida, to Ralph Everett and Donna Sweat Williford. Ford began her path the fame at the age of 8 when she joined the Tampa Bay Children's Choir. Three years later, she was a member of the Tampa-based Children's Performing Arts Troupe Entertainment Revue, a group of 20 girls who toured the state and gave singing performances. Ford soon earned the rank of featured soloist in the group and at age 15, she left when she landed a spot in a group called FLA. She didn't stay with FLA for long because she moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a more serious and solo career.
In 1998, Ford was signed to MCA Records, while performing under the stage name Mandah. She released her first song "Lullaby" on the double platinum soundtrack Pokemon: The First Movie, and soon she was opening for the Backstreet Boys. While touring with the group, Ford began dating Nick Carter and the two were together for three years.
Just as Ford was gaining popularity, her label requested she change her stage name to Willa Ford to avoid people confusing her with Mandy Moore. During this time, Ford was promoted as a "good girl," but soon publicity won and painted Ford with a less than a perfect and innocent image. MCA dropped Ford after her fall from "good girl" status and she was next signed with Lava/Atlantic Records, after they noticed her on a mall tour for Nautica Kids.
In July 2001, Ford released her debut album Willa Was Here, which featured the hit single "I Wanna Be Bad." The single became the theme song for the Six Flags amusement park chain, was used by 7 Up for an advertising campaign, and was featured on the Totally Hits collection. Though the single was highly popular and frequented radio waves, the album as a whole didn't fair as well. That same year, Ford became a spokesmodel for Pantene Pro-V and hosted Total Request Live and Say What Karaoke on MTV, which won her a contract with the popular TV station.
In 2002, Ford co-wrote and sang a duet with South Korean pop star Park Ji-yoon entitled "Nastified," which appeared on Ji-yoon's album, Man. Throughout 2003, Ford hosted The Morning After and her debut reality series; I Bet You Will. Ford then released the dance song "A Toast to Men," which featured guest rapper Lady May. The single was from her unreleased sophomore album Sexysexobsessive. The single faired well, but, because of legal problems, the album was not released, which lead Ford to leave the label.
In 2005, she hosted the first season of the reality television show The Ultimate Fighter. After its final episode, Ford got a shot as the summer guest "doll" for The Pussycat Dolls' Las Vegas show. The following year, Ford was one of the four celebrity quarterbacks for the Dallas Desire in the third Lingerie Bowl, which was shown on pay-per-view during half-time of Super Bowl XL. In March 2006, Ford kept up her bad girl image by posing nude for Playboy.
In September 2006, Ford became a competitor on the third season of Dancing with the Stars. Ford and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were voted off the show five weeks into the competition. In November 2006, Ford returned to the show three times, twice to perform, making her the first celebrity to be a contestant and performer on the show, and once for the final show where all contestants returned.On Thanksgiving day 2006, Ford became engaged to hockey player Mike Modano, whom she had been dating for 4 years. Ford married Modano in Athens, Texas on August 25, 2007.
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