Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen, popularly known as “Tila Tequila,” is a TV and social-media personality. Her parents were boat people from Vietnam who moved to Singapore. Her family relocated to Houston, Texas, US, when she was a year old. The young Vietnamese girl rebeled against her strict Buddhist family and created a splash on social media with her views on Hitler and the Jews. She started her career modeling for ‘Playboy’ and became their first Asian ‘Cyber Girl of the Month.’ She appeared on various reality shows and hosted the ‘Fuse TV’ dance show ‘Pants-Off Dance-Off.’ Her reality show ‘A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila’ led to a heated debate because of its content and was opposed by ‘The Christian Post.’ She has released the EPs ‘Sex’ and ‘Welcome to the Darkside.’ She also appeared in the films ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ and ‘Masterminds.’ She has launched various websites and has released the self-help book ‘Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party.’ Her name has been linked to both male and female partners. She has given birth to two daughters. She has decided to bring them up as a single mother under the name “Tornado Thien.”
Childhood & Early Life
She was born on October 24, 1981, in Singapore. Her parents were boat people who arrived in Singapore from Vietnam after the war. She has an elder brother named Daniel and an elder sister named Terri.
Her family moved to Houston, Texas, when she was a year old. They lived in a strict Buddhist gated community till she was 8 years old. She was nicknamed “Tila Tequila” by her friends because it was believed that she was allergic to alcohol.
In her adolescent years, she took to writing poetry to release her emotions. She ran away from home at the age of 16 and lived in Queens, New York City, for several months. She experienced a drive-by shooting during this period. She even got pregnant and had a miscarriage.
She graduated from ‘Alief Hastings High School’ in 2000 and relocated to California to become a model in 2001. She attended college but did not complete her education.
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Tila was offered an assignment to model for ‘Playboy’ magazine when she was 19 years old. She was featured as ‘Playboy’s ‘Cyber Girl of the Week’ in April 2002 and soon became the first Asian ‘Cyber Girl of the Month.’
She started her own band named ‘Beyond Betty Jean’ when she was 20 years old. However, the band did not survive. She later became the lead singer of a band named ‘Jealousy’ that released a few songs online before they, too, broke up.
In 2003, she appeared on the ‘VH1’ reality show named ‘Surviving Nugent.’ She also gained popularity when she was featured on the cover of ‘Import Tuner,’ an automobile magazine, and in other shows about cars.
She hosted the ‘Fuse TV’ dance show ‘Pants-Off Dance-Off’ and signed a contract with ‘A&M Records’ in 2006. This was followed by the independent release of her first single, ‘I Love U,’ through ‘iTunes’ in February 2007.
She appeared on the ‘NBC’ game show ‘Identity’ later that year and also made a cameo appearance on the show ‘The War at Home.’ Her debut on the big screen was as a ‘Hooters Girl’ in the movie ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.’
Her second single, ‘Stripper Friends,’ was released via ‘Yahoo! Music’ in February 2008. This was followed by the single ‘Paralyze’ on ‘Yahoo! Music’ and ‘iTunes.’
In 2010, she changed her stage name to ‘Miss Tila’ and released the single ‘I Fucked the DJ’ along with another version, ‘I Love My DJ.’ The single received negative reviews. She then started her own blog, ‘MissTilaOMG.com,’ and released the EP ‘Welcome to the Darkside.’ The EP fared better than her previous project. However, her performance during the ‘Gathering of the Juggalos’ music festival was greeted with stone-pelting.
She participated in the 16th season of the ‘Channel 5’ reality show ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ but got eliminated on the first day due to some controversial views stated by her.
Tila started various websites and blogs featuring celebrity gossip and fashion that received mixed reviews. Currently, she sells artwork under the brand name ‘Tornado Thien.’ She is planning to release a comic book titled ‘The Saint Sinners.’
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She has released five music videos, two EPs, and five singles. Her EPs are ‘Sex’ and ‘Welcome to the Darkside.’ Some of her notable singles are ‘I Love U,’ ‘Stripper Friends,’ and ‘You Can Dance.’
Tila has appeared in the films ‘I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry’ (2007), ‘Masterminds’ (2013), and ‘24/7’ (2016).
She has launched various websites. In 2008, she released the book ‘Hooking Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party.’
Awards & Achievements
She was named the ‘Entertainer of the Year’ at ‘The Soup Awards’ in 2007.
In 2008, she won the ‘So Hot They’re Famous’ award and the ‘A-List Drama Queen’ award at the ‘Spike Guys’ Choice Awards’ and the ‘Bravo’s A-List Awards,’ respectively.
Family & Personal Life
Tila has created controversy due to her pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic views. Her status as a lesbian or bisexual has also led to a lot of debate. Her name has been linked to both male and female partners, including Bobby Banhart and Dani Campbell from ‘A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.’
She was allegedly choked by former boyfriend Shawne Merriman. She once attempted suicide by an overdose of pills. She was diagnosed with brain aneurysm and had to undergo rehabilitation.
She has dated heiress Casey Johnson and musician Thomas Paxton Whitaker. She also has two daughters and has decided to bring them up under the name “Tornado Thien.”
In March 2018, Tequila claimed that she had only pretended to be bisexual to ensure good ratings for ‘A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.’
Her EP ‘Sex’ released by ‘The Saturday Team’ created a controversy when Tila denied having authorized the release of the EP. It was later made available for digital purchase.
Her reality show ‘A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila’ led to a heated debate because of its content related to bisexuality and lesbianism. It was opposed by an article in ‘The Christian Post.’ In response, Tila accused the church of gay-bashing.
In December 2008, she released a self-help book titled ‘Hook Up with Tila Tequila: A Guide to Love, Fame, Happiness, Success, and Being the Life of the Party.’
Her website, ‘TilasHotSpot.com,’ was later redirected to ‘MissTila.com.’ The site initially required adult verification and a subscription.
‘TilaFashion.com’ featured her clothing line, and ‘TilasHotSpotDating.com’ was launched as a dating website for individuals above 18 years age.
She has appeared on the covers of various magazines and has been featured on the ‘Maxim Hot 100’ list.