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Tila Tequila Biography


Tila Nguyen (born October 24, 1981 in Singapore), best known as Tila Tequila, is an American glamour model and singer. Residing in West Hollywood, California, she is best known for her appearances in Stuff, Maxim, Time Magazine, her role as host of the Fuse TV show Pants-Off Dance-Off and her position as the most popular person on MySpace as of April 2006. She was raised in Houston, Texas.

Nguyen was born in Singapore, where her family emigrated after the Vietnam War. A few years later, they moved again to the Houston neighborhood of Alief, where they lived in rundown housing for most of Nguyen's childhood until they were admitted to a gated community run by a strict Buddhist temple. The family left the community when Nguyen was eight.

As soon as she entered middle school, Nguyen developed a tomboy attitude and started getting in fights. Her behavior eventually got her sent to a boarding school for six months before she was transferred to another school. As she got older, she used her sister's identification card to enter nightclubs, where she began experimenting with drugs and joined a gang. In an interview with Import Tuner, Nguyen said she had been searching for a sense of identity: "I was really confused then, 'cause at first I thought I was black, then I thought I was Hispanic and joined a cholo gang". Later she made some friends outside the gang who briefly helped turn her life around, however her past caught up with her, and she fled to Queens, New York. When she returned to Texas she had a three-way relationship with two girlfriends, but eventually decided she could no longer handle her lifestyle. She then began to focus on her studies and her job(s).

Nguyen realized her life would get worse if she continued living in Texas, so she moved to Hollywood to pursue her career in entertainment. Her career began at the age of eighteen when she was discovered at the Sharpstown Mall by a Playboy scout and was offered a chance to model nude for the magazine. She declined at first, but she was featured as Playboy’s Cyber Girl of the week on April 22, 2002, and soon thereafter she became the first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month.

Tila gained further popularity through the import racing scene. She has been featured on the cover of Import Tuner magazine, at car shows such as Hot Import Nights, and in the video game Street Racing Syndicate. In 2003 she was a contestant on VH1's Surviving Nugent, a reality TV show where participants performed compromising tasks and stunts for rock star Ted Nugent. She was also the most frequent host on the first season of Fuse TV's dance show, Pants-Off Dance-Off, on which a motley group of contestants strip to music videos.

Nguyen was featured on the cover of the April 2006 issue of Stuff magazine; in the interview, she claimed that her nickname "Tila Tequila" came about when she was in middle school after she had experimented with alcohol but then had a severe allergic reaction to it. She was later included in Stuff’s 100 Sexiest Women Online. She appeared on the August 2006 Maxim UK cover and was named #88 in their Hot 100 List.

Nguyen used modeling as a stepping stone for other ventures. At age twenty, she took interest in rock music and started looking for bands willing to have her join. Her Playboy past hurt her credibility, but she eventually assembled a band called Beyond Betty Jean, for which she was singer-songwriter. Following the break-up of Beyond Betty Jean, Nguyen started working in recording studios to sharpen her vocal skills and write music. Nguyen became the lead singer of a band called Jealousy, which has released songs over the Internet. Jealousy has appeared on MySpace Records' inaugural compilation album, released through MySpace Records/Interscope.

A major turn in Nguyen's music career occurred during the April 24, 2006 taping of MTV's Total Request Live. In an interview with the TRL VJs, will.i.am falsely announced that Nguyen was signed to the will.i.am music group, a record label under A&M Records. She is releasing her debut single and album without a label for personal reasons stated in her MySpace blog.

Nguyen released her first single I Love U through iTunes on February 27, 2007. This marks the first time that she has ever had a single released to iTunes. She shot a music video for the song, which is available for free after the song is downloaded. A preview for the video debuted on February 14, 2007 on Tila's official MySpace page and two previews are available on Tila's Valentine's Day e-card. The video is now available via mobile phones.

In February of 2007, Tila announced that she would be releasing a full length album. She states that her debut album is, "very different from anything" she's put out thus far.

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