Tila Tequila

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Tila Tequila
Tila Tequila 2008.jpg
Tequila attending the Mosci fashion show at Club AREA, West Hollywood, California in October 2008.
Background information
Birth name Tila Nguyen[1]
Also known as Tila Tequila
Born (1981-10-24) October 24, 1981 (age 33)
Singapore
Origin Houston, Texas, U.S.
Genres R&B, pop rap, hip hop, pop rock, electropop
Occupation(s) Glamour model, singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, blogger, writer, television personality
Years active 2001–present

Tila Nguyen (born October 24, 1981),[2] better known by her stage names Tila Tequila and Miss Tila,[3] is a Singaporean-born American model and television personality. She is known for her appearances in the men's magazines Playboy, Stuff, and Maxim, her role as host of the Fuse TV show featuring performance striptease, Pants-Off Dance-Off and her position as the most popular artist on MySpace (according to page views) circa April 2006.[4] She was raised in Houston, Texas, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. Her MTV reality show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila aired for two seasons.

Early life and education

Nguyen was born in Singapore, where her family emigrated from Vietnam after the Vietnam War.[2][5] She is the youngest of three children born to a French-Vietnamese mother and Vietnamese father. Nguyen has an older brother, Daniel, and older sister, Terri.[6] When she was one year old, the family relocated to a neighborhood in Houston, Texas and were eventually admitted to a gated community run by a strict Buddhist temple.[7] The family left the community when Nguyen was eight.[8]

While in middle school, Nguyen became a tomboy and was eventually sent to a boarding school for six months for her combative behavior before transferring to another school.[8] While in high school, she used her sister's identification card to enter nightclubs, where she began taking drugs[8] and joined a gang. She was given the nickname "Tila Tequila" by friends due to her apparent allergy to alcohol.[9][10] In her memoir, she would later explain that she felt "confused" and "lost" from various personal family and environmental issues and lost her virginity at 15. She turned to writing poems in an attempt to release powerful emotions, and friends outside the gang briefly helped turn her life around. At age 16, Nguyen ran away to Queens, New York, for several months.[7] While still 16, she experienced a drive-by shooting in Houston. She reports having become pregnant and suffering a miscarriage the following year.[11]

Nguyen graduated from Alief Hastings High School in 2000. She has cited the violent adolescence she had in Texas as her reason for becoming a model and moving to California in 2001.[12] In a March 2003 interview, she revealed that she has taken some college classes but does not have a degree, stating, "I didn't want to go to college for an actual degree because there's nothing out there I like besides doing something that involves the entertainment industry."[13]

Career

Modeling and acting

Nguyen's career began at the age of 19 when she was discovered at the Sharpstown Mall by a Playboy scout and was offered a chance to model nude for the magazine. She did a test shoot,[13] then eventually moved to Southern California and 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.[14] A few more pictorials for the magazine followed.[5]

Nguyen at a car show in December 2005

Nguyen 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.[13][15] She was also the most frequent host on the first season of Fuse TV's dance show, Pants-Off Dance-Off, on which a group of contestants strip to music videos.[5]

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 experimented with alcohol at the age of thirteen.[16] She appeared on the August 2006 Maxim UK cover, was named #88 in their Hot 100 List,[17] and also appeared in the December 2007 issue.[18] She was ranked #100 on the Maxim Hot 100 list in 2008.[19]

Nguyen made an appearance as one of the 12 strangers in the first game on the April 6, 2007 episode of NBC's game show Identity. On March 4, 2007 she made a cameo appearance on the show "The War At Home."[20] She also appeared as a Hooters Girl in the 2007 film I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.

Nguyen has been featured on the front page of magazines such as Penthouse, King, Blender, and most recently Steppin' Out[21]

Nguyen has provided her voice to shows such as Robot Chicken and The Cleveland Show.[22]

Reality television

In May 2007, Nguyen began filming for a reality show which first aired on MTV on October 9, 2007, as A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. The program was a bisexual-themed dating show where 16 straight men and 16 lesbian women competed for Nguyen's affections, the twist being that the contestants were not aware of her bisexuality[7] until the end of the first episode. The ten-episode series was produced by SallyAnn Salsano and MTV.[23]

Nguyen in October 2007

The show led to a heated online debate between Nguyen and conservative Christians after an article appeared on The Christian Post on September 13, 2007.[24] After seeing the article, Nguyen wrote an impassioned response in her blog on September 28, 2007, criticizing churches for "bashing" the gay community while thanking God for saving her life.[5][25]

The show premiered for a second season in April 2008 and became a popular gossip subject in Asian media, such as AsianWeek.[26] The season finale premiered July 8, 2008, the winner being Kristy Morgan who declined her "shot at love".[27]

Before A Shot at Love, Nguyen was a contestant on VH1's Surviving Nugent, a reality TV show where participants performed compromising tasks and stunts for rock star Ted Nugent.[28]

Online business ventures

In July 2001, Nguyen started the website TilasHotSpot.com,[29] which later began redirecting to MissTila.com. Originally the site featured information, quotes, blog, and pictorials[30] requiring adult verification and a monthly fee.[31] Later, the site was revamped to feature all-ages content and information to promote her career, business ventures, personal information, and a premium membership section including videos, non-nude picture galleries, blogs, and chat sessions.[32] In 2008 the site was transformed into a social network.[33]

During 2005, Nguyen launched TilaFashion.com,[34] a site featuring her custom line of clothing for men and women.[35] In 2006, Nguyen created a website entitled "Tila Zone,"[36] which features content to use on Myspace and other social networking websites including layouts, widgets, and clipart.[37]

In December 2009, Nguyen partnered with Joe Francis to launch the now-defunct dating site TilasHotSpotDating.com,[38] aimed at people ages 18 and up. The site included a free membership with basic access, and paid membership for other areas of the site. Nguyen took in webcam chats on the site.[39]

In 2010, Nguyen launched a celebrity blog site, MissTilaOMG.com, which was transformed into her personal blog in 2012.

Music

At age 20, Nguyen acted on her interest in rock music and started looking for bands willing to let her join. She eventually assembled a band called Beyond Betty Jean, for which she was singer and songwriter. Beyond Betty Jean eventually broke up and Nguyen started working in recording studios to sharpen her vocal skills and wrote music.[14] Later, she became the lead singer of a band called Jealousy, which released a few songs online before breaking up.

In April 2006, during the taping of an interview with MTV's Total Request Live VJs, will.i.am announced that Nguyen had been signed to the Will.I.Am music group, a record label under A&M Records. Despite this major-label signing, Nguyen independently released her first single "I Love U" through iTunes on February 27, 2007, justifying the independent release through her desire to become famous by herself.[2] She also shot a music video for the song.

In March 2007, Washington-based record label The Saturday Team released an EP called Sex, by Tila Tequila.[2] On July 27, 2007, Italian website MusicBlob reported that The Saturday Team and distributor Icon Music Entertainment Services sued Nguyen over breaching her contract related to the album.[40] However, Nguyen claimed in a MySpace bulletin[40] that the EP was not authorized for release by her, and was removed from most retailers. The Saturday Team won a legal case, making Sex available for digital purchase.

On October 9, 2007, Nguyen released her second official single, "Stripper Friends".[41] A video premiered via Yahoo! Music on February 26, 2008 and was released to iTunes on March 4, 2008. The single failed to chart. In April 2008, the single "Paralyze" and its accompanying music video were released via Yahoo! Music and iTunes.[42]

The "I Love U Remixes" EP was released to digital music retailers on April 7, 2009.

In April 2010, Nguyen officially released the single "I Fucked The DJ", along with an edited version entitled "I Love My DJ", on iTunes. The songs were released under the name "Miss Tila". In May 2010, Nguyen released an EP to iTunes entitled "Welcome to the Darkside". The EP includes a cover of Depeche Mode's song "Blue Dress" and Yoko Ono's song "Walking on Thin Ice". Tila began a tour supporting the new EP in 2010, and at one of her tour stops in August 2010, Nguyen appeared at the Gathering of the Juggalos, a music festival founded by hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse. She was repeatedly pelted with rocks and bottles among other objects, and she vowed to take legal action against the organizers and promoters for the event.[43][44]

Book

On December 2, 2008, Nguyen released a self-help book, Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party (ISBN 9781439101537).[45][46]

Record label and management firm

Nguyen has started her own record label called "Tila Tequila Records", and signed Raz-B of B2K.[47] Apart from her record label, Nguyen has also started a management firm called "Little Miss Trendsetter Management LLC".[48]

Controversy

Allegations of Anti-Semitism and Nazism

In December 2013, Nguyen caused controversy by posting an article on her website titled "Why I Sympathize with Hitler: Part I", though she stated that her views on Hitler were not derived from anti-Semitism on her part, nor any feelings toward Jewish people. Nguyen stated:

For those of you who who focus on the victims of war well that is just part of war. What do you think war is about? People DIE in wars that is why I am against wars. It brought me to tears because I used to think all of those horrible things about him [Hitler] until I learned the truth about the war and what Hitler truly did and he was not a bad person as they have painted him out to be. Here is a man who was not a coward, stood up for his country in a DESPERATE TIME OF NEED (unlike all of our cowardly leaders), and yet not only did he try his best to help his country and people get out of what was a time of depression, economic collapse, high unemployment, amongst many other things.[49]

She also posted pro-Hitler and anti-Semitic comments on her Facebook page, as well as photos of herself as a scantily-clad Nazi posing in front of a photo of Auschwitz. These actions angered her Facebook followers, and resulted in Facebook closing her account and removing the material in question.[50]

Personal life

On September 6, 2009, Nguyen was allegedly choked and restrained by former boyfriend Shawne Merriman, who was later arrested.[51][52] San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis decided not to charge Merriman after her office spent three days reviewing reports from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.[53] On November 17, 2009, Nguyen sued Merriman for $1.5 million.[54] Several weeks later, Merriman countersued, alleging intentional interference with contract, unfair competition, and trademark infringement.[55] She declined to respond to his more recent actions, and a default judgment was entered in his favor for $2 million.[56]

On December 9, 2009, Nguyen stated she was engaged to heiress Casey Johnson and was photographed with a diamond ring.[57] On January 4, 2010, Johnson, who had long suffered from Type I Diabetes, was found dead. On February 4, 2010, the Los Angeles Coroner's Office announced that Johnson "died from diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition caused by a lack of insulin and high blood sugar". She was reported to have neglected to take her medication, and died naturally.[58] Tila Tequila, had arranged plans to seek legal custody of Casey Johnson's adopted daughter, Ava, who is currently under the legal custody of Johnson's mother, Sale.[59][60]

In 2011 Vivid Entertainment released a video of Nguyen engaging in sexual acts with pornographic actresses Kristina Rose and Charlie Laine.[61] Nguyen has stated that the video was made for personal use and she did not consent to its release.[62]

On March 7, 2012, it was reported that Nguyen has agreed to check into rehab after having reportedly "almost died" from an attempted suicide by overdosing on pills. The incident caused her to be hospitalized from a brain aneurysm.[63][64] Nguyen completed her rehab treatment on April 5, 2012.[65] Upon completing her treatment, Nguyen opened up about her near-death experience to US Weekly stating "I can remember feeling like the bones were popping out the side of my head [because] the pain was so bad. I took some medications and tried to go for a nap, but when I woke up I was vomiting. I really thought I was going to die."[66]

On April 18, 2014, Nguyen took to her Facebook page to announce she is pregnant, and is expecting her first child.[67] On November 16th, 2014, Nguyen gave birth to a daughter, Isabella Monroe Nguyen.[68]

Discography

EPs

Singles

  • "I Love U" (2007)
  • "Stripper Friends" (2007)
  • "Paralyze" (2008)
  • "I Fucked the DJ"/"I Love My DJ" (2010)
  • "You Can Dance" (2011)

Filmography

Films

Adult films

  • Tila Tequila Uncorked (2010)[69]
  • Tila Tequila Backdoored and Squirting (2014)[70]

Television

Books

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result
2007 The Soup Awards for Entertainer of the Year[71] Won
2008 Spike Annual Guy's Awards for So Hot They're Famous[72] Won
Bravo's A-List Awards for A-List Drama Queen[73] Won

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d Brown, Marisa. "Artist Biography [Tila Tequila]". Tila Tequila. Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  3. ^ "Tila's New Directions - Fox News Video - Fox News". Fox News. 2010-10-01. 
  4. ^ Weiner, Jonah (April 11, 2006). "Tila Tequila, the first star of MySpace". Slate. Retrieved January 14, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b c d Bozell, L. Brent III (2007-11-30). "Tila Tequila, MTV's Latest Poison". Media Research Center. Retrieved 2008-01-05. 
  6. ^ Tequila, T (2008). Hooking Up With Tila Tequila. Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. p. 6. 
  7. ^ a b c "Full Biography". A Shot At Love 2 With Tila Tequila. MTV.com. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  8. ^ a b c Nguyen, Tila (2005-11-10). "The Truth About Tila". Tila's Hotspot. Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 2006-02-17. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  9. ^ "Tila Tequila". MTV.
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  11. ^ "THE TRUTH COMES OUT! I WAS PREGNANT WITH A BABY BOY!". Tila's MySpace Blog. October 26, 2009. Retrieved December 21, 2009. 
  12. ^ Tequila, T. (2008). Hooking Up With Tila Tequila. Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group. 
  13. ^ a b c Rodriguez, Tyrone (2003-03-13). "SRS Babe of the Week: Tila Nguyen". IGN.com (IGN Entertainment, Inc). Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
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  29. ^ Nguyen, Tila. "Tila's Hot Spot". The Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on 2001-07-16. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
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  49. ^ Chilson, Morgan (December 10, 2013). "Tila Tequila Says Hitler Just 'Trying His Best to Help His Country' Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/tila-tequila-hitler/2013/12/10/id/541113#ixzz2pO0YEKJk Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!". Newsmax.
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  53. ^ Wilson, Bernie (September 11, 2009). "DA dismisses case against Merriman". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-09-12. [dead link] and
    "District attorney dismisses case against LB Merriman". CBSSports.com (CBS Broadcasting Inc.). September 11, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  54. ^ Dominguez, Robert (November 17, 2009). "Tila Tequila sues ex-beau NFL star Shawne Merriman for assault, battery, false imprisonment". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 17, 2009. 
  55. ^ NFL Star Sues Tila Tequila – She Lied to Ruin Me!, December 10, 2009, TMZ.com
  56. ^ "Shawne Merriman Is a Good Guy". Bleacher Report. August 5, 2001.
  57. ^ "Tila Tequila Flashes Nipple, Claims Engagement To Troubled Heiress Casey Johnson". Huffington Post. December 9, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
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  67. ^ http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/tila-tequila-is-pregnant-expecting-first-child-see-baby-bump-picture-2014194
  68. ^ "Tila Tequila Gives Birth to Baby Girl—Find Out Her Name!". E! Online. November 18, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  69. ^ http://vivid.com/celeb/tila-tequila/
  70. ^ http://vivid.com/celeb/tila-backdoor/
  71. ^ Tila Tequila (2007-12-20). The Soup Awards: Entertainer of The Year Award (YouTube). The Soup Awards. Event occurs at 0:54. Retrieved 2008-11-14. The Soup's Entertainer of The Year! Tila Tequila! 
  72. ^ Barnes, Marcus (2008-06-01). "It's Miller time at Spike awards". The Sun (London). Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  73. ^ Tila Tequila (2008-06-12). Hulu – 2008 A-List Awards: Tila Tequila. Hulu. Event occurs at 1:11. Retrieved 2008-12-21. I won the Drama Queen Awards! You know, there's actually, uh, a lot of good contenders up there, so the fact that I won is awesome! I didn't realize I was that dramatic. 

External links