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Time will tell if the infamous Willa Ford will earn more attention for her music, for her relationship with Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter, or neither. Fueled by envy, fans of BSB have heaped abuse upon Ford, setting up at least three anti-Willa websites and accusing her of a cornucopia of crimes and faults, ranging from crossed eyes to physical abuse of Carter and BSB fans. The fact that Ford had her first national tour opening for BSB helped strengthen fans' accusations that she was just using their beloved Nick for her own gain. However, when you get past all of the anti-Willa hype, the story of her path to stardom doesn't look all that different from her Florida brethren. Basically, Willa Ford is an attractive girl who had a long history of professional work as a child who signed record contracts with companies who wanted to capitalize on the lucrative teen market. Born on January 22, 1981, in Ruskin, Florida, Willa Ford (born Amanda Lee Williford) began singing at the age of eight with the Tampa Bay Children's Choir and by the time she was 11, she joined her first professional group, the Tampa-based performing arts troupe Entertainment Revue. The group, which consisted of 20 girls ranging in age from five to 16, performed throughout the region at fairs and conventions, as well as at Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens. At 15, she briefly became part of a vocal quartet called FLA but soon left them for a solo career. Performing under the name Mandah, she was signed to MCA, who intended to market her as a clean-cut teen act. During her time at the label, she changed her stage name to Willa Ford to avoid confusion with Mandy Moore. MCA later dropped her, in part because of the negative publicity that conflicted with their intended good-girl image; Ford signed with Atlantic, who placed one of her songs on a Pokémon soundtrack and then released her debut album, Willa Was Here in 2001. The music is pure teen pop with its use of vocoders, pop/R&B grooves, and dance beats, but the lead single, "I Wanna Be Bad," and the highly sexualized cover art seem to indicate that Atlantic is embracing Ford's bad-girl image instead of trying to counter it.
Amanda Lee Modano (née Williford; born January 22, 1981) known by her stage names Willa Ford and often as Mandy Modano, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, model, television personality and film actress. She released her debut album, Willa Was Here, in 2001. Ford also has appeared in movies such as Friday the 13th (2009), hosted several reality television shows, posed for Playboy and competed on ABC's Dancing with the Stars."Willa Ford". MTV. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
Early life and education
Ford was raised in Ruskin, Florida. She began singing with the Tampa Bay Children's Choir at age eight. At age 11, she started singing with the Tampa-based children's performing arts troupe, Entertainment Revue. She attended East Bay High School in Gibsonton, Florida.Cite error: The named reference mtv was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
In 1999, the 18-year-old Ford started performing under the stage name Mandah and was signed to MCA. Ford was later dropped from MCA and signed by Atlantic Records. Atlantic placed one of Ford's songs, "Lullaby," on the soundtrack for Pokémon: The First Movie. Ford changed her stage name from Mandah to Willa Ford in order to avoid confusion with Mandy Moore.
In 2000, she was one of the opening acts on the Backstreet Boys' "Into the Millennium" tour.
In 2001, Ford signed on to a new label, Lava Atlantic Records, while on a mall tour for Nautica Kids. Ford wrote most of her own lyrics and served as executive producer for most of her first album. On July 17, 2001, she released Willa Was Here. The album included the single "I Wanna Be Bad" which featured rapper Royce da 5'9". Willa Was Here reached 56 on the Billboard 200 and sold approximately 200,000 copies. Ford went on to release a second single from the album, "Did Ya' Understand That," which failed to garner much attention.
Ford was a spokesperson for Pantene Pro-V's ProVoice campaign while promoting the album. She also appeared in Uncle Kracker's video for "In A Little While." Ford also went on to guest-host MTV's TRL and Say What Karaoke, which led to a hosting contract with Viacom. Ford hosted the MTV reality shows The Morning After and I Bet You Will. In 2001, Ford also co-wrote and recorded a duet with South Korean pop star Park Ji-yoon. The song, titled "Nastified," appeared on Park's fifth album, Man.
In 2003, Ford released a song titled "A Toast to Men." The song, which featured guest rapper Lady May, was featured in daytime promotional ads for soap operas. The single came from her unreleased second album Sexysexobsessive, which was previously titled Porn Poetry. The title track, "Sexysexobsessive," was to be the second single, but it was only released through Ford's official website.
From 2005 to 2006, She appeared as a guest doll in Pussycat Dolls' show at the club in Las Vegas.
In 2010, she released the first song since 2003 "All This Time" online, collaborated with Riley Smith.
In 2011, Ford resumed her music career with a performance at the The Viper Room in LA. In the performance, she revealed her first solo song since 2003, "Back Back Back."
In 2014, she was featured in the song "Rock Tonight" by Ray Cervanka.
Television, film, and magazine appearances
In 2002, Ford appeared in an episode of the short-lived television sitcom Raising Dad, playing a bully named Edie. In 2005, Ford hosted the first season of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV. After the show's finale, Ford was contracted as a summer's guest doll performer for the Las Vegas shows of The Pussycat Dolls. Ford was later featured as the June celebrity on FHM's 2005 pin-up calendar.
In early 2006, Ford played as one of the four celebrity quarterbacks for the Lingerie Bowl, which was shown during the half-time of Super Bowl XL. Later that year, she was featured in a nude pictorial in the March 2006 issue of Playboy. Stuff magazine ranked her #48 in the 101 Sexiest Online Women supplement later that year. In fall 2006, Ford competed on the third season of Dancing with the Stars. Ford and her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, were eliminated in the fifth week of competition. She talked about her experience with Maxim in its January 2007 issue.
Ford appeared on an episode of My Celebrity Home on the Style Network, which aired on January 31, 2007 She also hosted the third season of Pants-Off Dance-Off on Fuse TV. On August 23, 2007, Ford and her then-husband, NHL hockey player Mike Modano, were featured in an episode of MTV Cribs.
Ford appeared in the 2009 slasher film Friday the 13th. To promote the project, Ford appeared as a guest on E!'s late night talk show Chelsea Lately on February 5, 2009.
On October 10, 2009, she was cast as Becca in Dreamfly Production's new movie, Universal Squadrons, which was originally titled Minuteman. The movie premiered at the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival 2010 and the Angelika Theater in Dallas, Texas in December. According to the blog of the production, the movie was released for pay per view/video on demand in April, then DVD in June 7, 2011 from Maverick Films.
Ford also made a guest appearance in one episode of The Glades in 2011. In 2012, she appeared in 4 episodes of the television program Magic City and an episode of Leverage season 5.
As of June 2014, she is taking part in 4 films, called Submerged, Any Day, The Nurse, and Checkmate.
She also had been cast in another movie Assassin's Fury, but was later dropped. According to the site BZFilm.com which conducted an interview with the producer Fabio Soldani on April 25th, it has been confirmed by Fabio Soldani himself that after a mere 5 days of shooting, they had no choice but to let Willa go from the project, quoting that Willa was "a nightmare to be around" and that "shooting was a really sad place to be for those 5 days".Cite error: The named reference mtv was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Ray Cervanka 'Rock Tonight' "Willa Ford: Biography". TVGuide. Retrieved August 7, 2012. "Episode Detail: Willa Ford - My Celebrity Home". TV Guide. Retrieved 2013-05-25. "News". Minuteman. Retrieved 2013-05-25. "Dreamfly Productions". Retrieved 25 May 2013. "All Titles". Maverick Entertainment. Retrieved 2013-05-25. The hollywood news IMDb IMDb Satus Media & Entertainment film production news "Real nightmare on set of independent action film". BZFilm.com. Retrieved 2014-04-25.
Ford and hockey player Mike Modano married in a small, private ceremony on August 25, 2007, in Athens, Texas. In August 2012, Ford and Modano announced that they are divorcing after five years of marriage.Hall, Sarah (27 August 2007). "Willa Ford Weds Hockey Beau". E!. Retrieved 2013-05-25. Peppard, Alan (26 August 2007). "Willa you? We do! CELEBRITY EVENT: Stars' Modano, actress-singer Ford wed in East Texas". The Dallas Morning News. |accessdate= requires |url= (help) "Willa Ford and Husband to Divorce". People. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.