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Lita Ford (born September 19, 1958) is a Britishmarker-born, Americanmarker rock musician and singer who was the lead guitarist for The Runaways and achieved popularity for her solo career between the 1980s and late 2000s.


Early life

Ford was born Lita Rossanna Ford to a British father and an Italian mother in London, Englandmarker. She moved with her family to the United Statesmarker at age 4. She began playing the guitar at age 11. Her vocal range is mezzo-soprano.

In 1975 at the age of 17 she joined the all-female rock band The Runaways, for whom she played lead guitar.

Solo career

After the group split in 1979, she began a solo career. Her first album, Out for Blood including the title single was released in 1983 and had no luck on the charts. The next effort, Dancin' on the Edge of 1984 achieved moderate success. It included the single "Fire In My Heart" which reached the Top 10 in several countries. The next single "Gotta Let Go" was one of Ford's biggest hits. It reached Number One on the Mainstream Rock charts.

Ford toured extensively and made several guest appearances on TV shows for the next four years, but had no releases; a follow-up to Dancin' On The Edge, titled The Bride Wore Black, was abandoned and never released due to the fact Ford did not like the production of the album and this upset the head of her record label causing Ford to switch from Mercury Records to RCA Records.

In an interview with, when asked more about this unreleased album, The Bride Wore Black, Lita simply says, "Label hell! Who knows what shelf that is sitting on!".

By the time Ford returned again, the lighter pop-metal she had long favored had broken through to mainstream audiences, which set the stage for her most commercially successful album, 1988's Lita. With Sharon Osbourne as her manager, and again produced by herself, the album featured four commercial hits, including "Kiss Me Deadly", "Back To The Cave", "Close My Eyes Forever", and "Falling In And Out Of Love" (co-written with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe). The ballad "Close My Eyes Forever", a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, was her only Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit, reaching #8.

Her next release was called Stiletto. It featured the singles "Hungry" and "Lisa" (the second was dedicated to her mother). However this album was not as successful as Dancin' On The Edge and Lita.

Ford's next release was Dangerous Curves, which featured her last charting single "Shot Of Poison". Ford's last release would be with ZYX Records and would be titled Black. It failed to repeat the success of 1991's Dangerous Curves.

During her solo years, she was an endorser of B.C. Rich guitars and used Warlock, Eagle, Mockingbird and Bich single and double-neck models.

Ford appears in the 1992 film Highway to Hell as 'The Hitchhiker'. Ford was also asked by VH-1 to be in the cast of The Surreal Life for its 7th season, in 2007. She declined.

Return to stage and new album and tour 2008-2009

In June 2008, Ford and her new solo band played several warm-up gigs prior to Rocklahoma under the name Kiss Me Deadly in the New York City area.

In June 2009, Lita began touring the US and Europe, with a new line-up consisting of Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Guns N' Roses guitarist, 2006 - present) on guitar, Dennis Leeflang (Bumblefoot drummer) and PJ Farley on bass (Trixter, Ra) and Michael T. Ross (Angel/XYZ).

Ford released a new album Wicked Wonderland on October 6, 2009 via JLRG Entertainment. The album was written and produced by Ford, husband Jim Gillette, and Greg Hampton. Lita will tour the US in the Fall and Winter of 2009, including dates on Queensryche's American Soldier Tour.

In an interview with, talking about her new album Wicked Wonderland, Lita revealed the reason why its sound is heavier than the 80s music she once used to put out - "We just wanted to kick ass! We don’t know what’s popular, or the flavor of the day. We just wanted the music to ROCK! The lyrics are very personal to us and that’s it. I wasn’t going to come out in sandals with hairy armpits!".

Asked about how easy it was for her to create this new album/sound after all these years away from the music scene, Lita states that she and Jim [Gillette] "just did what came naturally. We’d been on an island in the middle of the Caribbean and hadn't heard anything current or even watched TV in years. We didn’t have a TV or radio! We wrote from our hearts. We’re very happy that lots of people love it!".

Asked about why she had chosen to walk away from fame all those years ago, Lita simply states that she "got married 15 years ago to the most amazing man I’ve ever met – Jim Gillette. We wanted to start a family and we did! We were on a deserted island just enjoying our love, lives, and our family. We have the most incredible sex life on the planet and that occupied quite a lot of our time!".

Lita Ford contributed her likeness and voice to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 video game, Brutal Legend. Lita appears as the character Rima, alongside Jack Black, Tim Curry, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, and Lemmy Kilmister. Lita's song "Betrayal" is also one of the 100+ songs that appear in the game.

Lita and her family also appear in comic book form in "The Gillettes: Family Business" written by Jake Tinsley and depicted by Manga artist, Jason Dube.

In 2010, Ford will be portrayed by actress Scout Taylor-Compton in the movie The Runaways.

Personal life

Lita Ford is married to Jim Gillette, of the band Nitro. She has two sons with him, the first of which was born on Jim and Lita's third wedding anniversary. She was previously married to W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, and was engaged to Black Sabbath leader/guitarist Tony Iommi in the mid-1980s.


An achievement in the Xbox 360 version of the video game Guitar Hero II, is titled the "Joan & Lita Award" in tribute to Lita and Joan Jett. It is awarded to two players who can get a 100 note streak in cooperative mode.

Ford lent her appearance and likeness to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 videogame Brütal Legend as Rina, Queen of the Zaulia beast-riders. In addition, the character Lita Halford was named after both Ford and Rob Halford, who also provides a voice in the game.

Her song, "Close My Eyes Forever", was included in Karaoke Revolution: American Idol Encore.

The song "Kiss Me Deadly" was covered in a compilation album called Viva La Internet/Blank CD by Reel Big Fish.


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1983 Out for Blood
1984 Dancin' on the Edge
  • Released: 1984
  • Label: Mercury Records
119 65
1988 Lita 58 29
1990 Stiletto 75 52 36 26
1991 Dangerous Curves
  • Released: October 1991
  • Label: Spitfire Records
123 139
1995 Black
2009 Wicked Wonderland
  • Released: October 6, 2009
  • Label: JLRG Entertainment
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums

  • The Best of Lita Ford (1992)
  • Greatest Hits (1999)
  • Greatest Hits Live (2000)
  • Platinum and Gold Collection - The Best of Lita Ford (2004)

Other appearances


Year Single Peak chart positions Album
1983 "Out for Blood" Out for Blood
"Dressed to Kill" Dancin' on the Edge
1984 "Fire In My Heart"
"Gotta Let Go" 94
1988 "Kiss Me Deadly" 12 40 75 Lita
"Back to the Cave" 22
1989 "Close My Eyes Forever"

(with Ozzy Osbourne)
8 25 47 14
"Falling In and Out of Love" 37
1990 "Hungry" 98 14 76 Stilleto
1991 "Shot of Poison" 45 21 63 Dangerous Curves
1992 "Playing with Fire"
"Larger Than Life"
1995 "Killin' Kind" Black
2009 "Crave" Wicked Wonderland
"—" denotes releases that did not chart



External links

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