Tila Tequila’s Rise to Fame – A Mini-Biography

Tila Tequila was born in Singapore on October 24, 1981. Her original birth name was Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen. Her parents immigrated to Singapore from Vietnam after the Vietnam War. By the time she was one year old, she and her family had moved to United States of America and Tila Tequila was living in Houston, Texas. She lived in gated community run by a Buddhist Temple until she was 8 years old.

Tila Tequila was a tomboy in middle school and very rebellious. She even spent six months in a boarding school in an attempt to chill her combative behavior. She used her sister’s id card to get into bars while in high school, and this led to recreational drug use and she became a gang member. She was confused about her identity, first thinking of herself as black, and later as Hispanic so she joined a Hispanic gang. Luckily friends not involved in the tequila online  gangs helped her escape gang life and turn her life around. When she was 16 years old, she moved to Queens, New York in an attempt to get away from the gang life in Houston, Texas.

Her first entry into celebrity came when she was discovered by a Playboy talent scout at a mall in New York. She did a test shoot, and then moved to southern California was and was a Playboy CyberGirl of the week in April 2002. Later she because CyberGirl of the Month for Playboy – the very first Asian to achieve this. She did additional pictorials for Playboy magazine.

She then got involved in modeling for car magazines like Import Tuner and Street Racing Syndicate. She was a contestant on VH1’s Surviving Nugent reality show. She was also a frequent host on Fuse TV’s Pants Off Dance-off – wherein contestants strip to music videos.

She was covergirl for Stuff magazine in April 2006. This is when she chose the moniker “Tila Tequila” as her official celebrity or stage name and she has been branding that name since. In August 2006, she was on the cover of Maxim UK, and as number 100 on the 2008 Maxim Hot 100 list.

She was one of 12 strangers on NBC’s game show “Identity”. She was in the movie “I Now Pronouce You Chuck and Larry” playing a Hooters girl.

In 2007 Tila Tequila got her super big break with her own reality show for MTV. It was called A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila and had a wonderful bisexual dating theme. This got Tila a lot of publicity through a debate that she raged with conservative Christians about bashing gays, as she loves God but sees nothing wrong with homosexuality.

Tila now lives in West Hollywood, California. She loves  She has several online ventures going, including Tila’s Hot Spot, her main promotional site, and Tilafashion.com, a site where she features customs clothing that is “So hot you’ll just want to take it all off”.

Ms. Tequila has been involved in several music ventures, none of which have been fabulously successful in and of themselves, but they have brought her great notoriety and publicity. She started a band called Beyond Betty Jean at age 20. Later, she became lead singer of a band called Jealousy, which did release a few songs over the internet before dissolving. She is best known for her bump and grind music videos on YouTube. Her best known singles are “I Love You”, “Stripper Friends”, and “Paralyze”.

Last, Tila Tequila, working with Sarah Tomlinson, is now an author. In December of 2008, she published a self-help book titled “Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party”.


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