Tila Nguyen

(born October 24, 1981 in Singapore), best known as Tila Tequila, is an American glamour model and singer of Vietnamese and French heritage.

Although she was born in Singapore, Tila Nguyen is of Vietnamese heritage. Her parents left Vietnam just before Tila was born, and they stayed in Singapore for a couple of years before moving again, this time to Houston, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, the Nguyens settled into a Buddhist gated community, where Tila and her older sister and brother grew up in a strict, sheltered environment.

As soon as she entered middle school, Nguyen developed a tomboy attitude and kept getting in fights. Her behavior eventually got her sent to a boarding school for six months before she was transferred to another school. As soon as she reached high school, she used her sister's identification card to enter nightclubs, where she began experimenting with drugs and joined a gang. In an interview with Import Tuner, Nguyen said she had been searching for a sense of identity: "I was really confused then, 'cause at first I thought I was black, then I thought I was Hispanic and joined a cholo gang".

Later she made some friends outside the gang who briefly helped turn her life around, however her past caught up with her, and she fled to Queens, New York at the age of sixteen. When she returned to Texas she had a three-way relationship, but eventually decided she could no longer handle her lifestyle. She then began to focus on her studies and job(s).


Nguyen realized her life would get worse if she continued living in Texas, so she moved to Hollywood to pursue her career in entertainment. Her career began at the age of eighteen when she was discovered at the Sharpstown Mall by a Playboy scout and was offered a chance to model nude for the magazine. She declined at first, but she was featured as Playboy’s Cyber Girl of the week on April 22, 2002, and soon thereafter she became the first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month.

Nguyen gained further popularity through the import racing scene. She has been featured on the cover of Import Tuner magazine, at car shows such as Hot Import Nights, and in the video game Street Racing Syndicate. In 2003 she was a contestant on VH1's Surviving Nugent, a reality TV show where participants performed compromising tasks and stunts for rock star Ted Nugent. She was also the most frequent host on the first season of Fuse TV's dance show, Pants-Off Dance-Off, on which a motley group of contestants strip to music videos.


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