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Amanda Lee Williford-Modano (born January 22, 1981), known professionally as Willa Ford and often as Mandy Modano, is an Americanmarker singer, songwriter, model, television personality and film actress. She became known in 2001 as the self-proclaimed "Bad Girl of Pop," when she released her debut album, Willa Was Here. Aside from her music career, Ford has had acting roles in movies, hosted several reality television shows, posed for Playboy and has competed on ABC's top-rated Dancing with the Stars.

Biography

Childhood

Amanda Lee Williford was born on January 22, 1981 and raised in Ruskin, Florida. She began pursuing her dream of becoming a singer at the age of 8 when she started singing with the Tampa Bay Children's Choir. By the time she reached age 11 she had moved on from the children's choir to the Tampa-based children's performing arts troupe Entertainment Revue.

Music Career; 1999-2004

In 1999, the 18 year old Ford started performing under the stage name Mandah and was signed to Music Corporation of America, MCA. While with MCA she wrote and recorded a song called "Lullaby" which was featured on the double-platinum soundtrack for the motion picture Pokémon: The First Movie. Ford's label decided to change her stage name from Mandah into Willa Ford, as to avoid confusion with Mandy Moore.

In 2000 she was one of the opening acts for the Backstreet Boys Into the Millennium Tour.

At the age of 20 the singer signed on to a new label, Lava Atlantic Records, while on a mall tour for Nautica Kids. The new contract put her into the recording studio with a variety of writers and producers. Ford preferred to write most of her own lyrics as well as becoming executive producer for most her first album. On July 17, 2001, Willa Ford released her debut album Willa Was Here. The album gave birth to the single "I Wanna Be Bad." Willa Was Here reached 56 on the Billboard 200 and sold roughly 200,000 copies. Ford went on to release a second single from the album titled "Did Ya' Understand That" which failed to garner much attention.

Ford served as the 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." On April 26, 2002, Willa Ford guest starred in an episode of Raising Dad where she played a bully named Edie. Ford also went on to guest host MTV's TRL and Say What Karaoke which led to a hosting contract with Viacom. Ford soon hosted the MTV reality shows The Morning After and I Bet You Will. That same year Willa Ford co-wrote and recorded a duet with South Korean pop star Park Ji-yoon entitled "Nastified" which appeared on Park's fifth album Man.

In 2003, Ford released a dance song incorporating a sorority chant, "A Toast to Men." The song, which featured guest rapper Lady May, was featured in daytime promo ads for soap operas. The single was from her unreleased sophomore album Sexysexobsessive which was previously titled Porn Poetry. The title track "Sexysexobsessive" was to be the second single but was only released through Ford's official website.

Television Career, Playboy & Dancing With the Stars; 2005-2007

In 2005, Ford hosted the first season of the fighting competition reality show, The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV.The show aired between January 18 and April 9, 2005. After the show's finale, the 24 year old singer was contracted as a summer's guest doll performer for the Las Vegasmarker shows of The Pussycat Dolls. Ford was later featured as the June celebrity on FHM's 2005 pin-up calendar. In early 2006, Willa Ford played as one of the four celebrity quarterbacks for the Lingerie Bowl which was shown during the halftime 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 as well. In the autumn of 2006, Ford competed on the third season of Dancing with the Stars. Ford and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy managed to last until the 5th week of elimination.

Ford posed a photoshoot featured in the January 2007 issue of Maxim, where she reflected on her experience on Dancing with the Stars.

Ford and Mike Modano married in a small, private ceremony on August 26, 2007 in Athens, Texas. She also announced to Access Hollywood that she was dropping out of the Dancing With The Stars Tour since Maksim Chmerkovskiy was not signed on.

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 husband Modano were featured in an episode of MTV Cribs.

Film Career; 2007-Present

The Insider announced on April 10, 2007 that Willa Ford was cast to play the role of Anna Nicole Smith in a film about the life and death of the celebrity. The film was shot between April and May 2007. The biopic Anna Nicole marked Ford's first lead role in a film. The film was released on September 22, 2009 in the U.S. and Canada. Ford later starred as the lead character named Claire Dennison in a thriller film called Impulse opposite Angus MacFadyen. Impulse went straight-to-DVD on April 15, 2008. She was recently described as "super sexy" by Simon Cowell.

Willa Ford played a supporting role in the motion picture reboot of 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. Ford and husband Modano were also attended the film's Los Angelesmarker premiere.As of Octorber 10, She has been casted as Becca of dreamfly production's new movie, "Minuteman."

Discography

Albums



Singles

Year Single Chart positions Album
US Hot Dance singles sales US Hot 100 Singles US Hot 100 Singles Sales US mainstream Top 40 US Top 40 Tracks R&R Pop
2001 "I Wanna Be Bad" 4 22 6 11 19 11 Willa Was Here
2001 "Did Ya' Understand That" - - - - - - Willa Was Here
2001 "Santa Baby " - - - - - - MTV TRL Christmas
2003 "A Toast to Men" (feat. Lady May) 11 - 45 - - 46 A Toast to Men (Single)


Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars dances



Dancing with the Stars performances

  • Week 8: "Fame" (Live singing performance)
  • Week 9: Group Jive (Live dance)
  • Season Finale: Cast Reunion (Live dance)


Filmography

Film



Music videos



Television roles



Television appearances



Television commercials



References

  1. Willa Ford Weds Hockey Beau
  2. Texas Wedding for Willa
  3. Pop-Star Home Makeover
  4. Bad Girl of Pop on MTV Cribs
  5. The Anna Nicole Smith Story DVD
  6. Friday the 13th Premiere
  7. Minuteman Casting News
  8. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=381&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Top+40+Mainstream&ci=3043323&cdi=7778781&cid=10%2F27%2F2001
  9. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=382&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Top+40+Tracks&ci=3042787&cdi=7759493&cid=09%2F08%2F2001
  10. http://www2.uta.edu/hunt/charts/Songruns/F/willafordi_wanna_be_bad.htm
  11. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=353&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Hot+Singles+Sales&ci=3051899&cdi=8081197&cid=12%2F06%2F2003
  12. http://www2.uta.edu/hunt/charts/Songruns/F/willaa_toast_to_men.htm

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