American personality Tila Tequila first rose to fame in the early 2000’s as one of the most popular users on the social networking website, Myspace. Born in Singapore and raised in Texas, she began her career at the age of nineteen after being discovered by a Playboy Scout while shopping at a local mall.
Deciding to go for the opportunity after a test shot, she was later featured on the cover of the magazine in the spring of 2002. Continuing with her newfound modeling career, Tequila soon found herself appearing in various other magazines such as Import Tuner. In the fall of 2003, she joined Myspace- a social networking website where she quickly attracted an impressive following; before long, she had gained the title of being “Myspace Queen”. Hailed as one of the hottest women in the country, Tequila has since also graced the covers of other mainstream publications such as the Rolling Stone, and Maxim UK.
Shortly after achieving fame as a model, Tequila also broke into the world of television as a reality star. In 2003, she made her debut starring in the VH1 series, Surviving Nugent. Several scattered appearances on the small screen later, the Texas-native was given her own reality game show called, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (2007); it was later succeeded by A Shot at Love II (2008).
Since then, she has also appeared in a variety of different shows TV programmings as The Great Debate (2009), The Gossip Queens (2010), Fighters Only Mixed Martial Awards (2010), and Celebrity Big Brother (2015), to name a few. In addition to being a reality star, Tequila has also tried her hand at acting- in 2007, she made her acting debut in the romantic comedy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007), where she played as a Hooters Girl. Some of the other projects that she’s been involved with as an actress include Robot Chicken (2008), $#*! My Dad Says (2011), and Masterminds (2012).
Aside from television, Tequila has also released several songs as a music artist. After signing with A&M Records in 2006, she released her first professional record, I Love U in 2007. Later that same year, she came out with her debut studio EP entitled, Sex. From there, she went on to release a second extended play called Welcome to the Darkside in 2010 under her own independent record label, Little Miss Trendsetter. Some of her more recent musical works include You Can Dance (2011), and Drunk Dialing (2015)– that latter of which saw her as a featured artist. MV-wise, Tequila has also released five music videos.
So what has the Vietnamese-American TV personality been up to these days? What new projects has she been busying herself with this past year? Does she have anything in store for these upcoming months? What happened to Tila Tequila? Where is she now in 2018?
Tila Tequila’s Early Life and Career Beginnings
Born on October 24, 1981, in Singapore, Tila Tequila (Birth Name: Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen) is born to French-Vietnamese parents- both of whom settled in Vietnam after the war; the youngest of three siblings, she has an older brother named Daniel and an older brother named Terri. Despite being born in Asia, Tequila actually spent the majority of her life in North America as her family moved to Houston, Texas, when she was just a year old. Raised in a strict gated Buddhist community for the first eight years of her life, her childhood was far from idyllic. A troubled child, not only did she try heroin at the age of eleven, but she soon also joined a local gang. As a teen, she often used her older sister’s ID to enter local nightclubs, where she started hanging out “with the wrong crowd”.
While she was in middle school, her parents sent her to a boarding school for half a year due to her troubled behavior. Around this time, she also gained her current moniker- Tila Tequila- as she was often teased by her friends for her apparent alcohol allergy. Despite her family’s best efforts, the teen continued her troublesome streak; by the time she was fifteen, she had started to smoke and had also gotten her first tattoo. In her eventual memoir, she explained that she often felt confused by a variety of issues that arose both from within her family and the environment. In attempts to release her emotions, she often turned her attention to poetry.
At the age of sixteen, Tequila ran away from home, escaping to Queens, New York, where she stayed for a number of months. That same year, things only got more complicated after she fell victim to a drive-by shooting; she later reported being pregnant and having suffered a miscarriage when she was seventeen. Despite her turbulent adolescence, she eventually started to turn her life around after graduating from Alief Hastings High School in Y2K. From there, she opted not to attend college as there is “nothing out there that [she] likes that involves the show business”.
Tila Tequila’s Early Career
Not long after graduating from high school, Tequila was scouted by a Playboy agent while shopping at Houston’s Sharpstown Mall. Offered the opportunity to model nude for the men’s entertainment magazine, she was soon booked for a test shoot. Realizing that it was something that she was interested in pursuing, she subsequently relocated to Southern California, where she continued to work as a Playboy model. In April of 2002, Tequila was featured as the Cyber Girl of the Week- making her the first Asian Cyber Girl to grace the covers. Following that, she became Playboy’s first Asian Cyber Girl of the Month.
Later featured on various racing magazines such as Import Tuner, she joined the social networking website, Myspace in 2003- after having been kicked from Friendster a handful of times. With her charm and beauty, it wasn’t long until she became one of the most popular social personalities on the web, having gained a record-breaking 1.4 million friends on the site. With that achievement, many soon began to call her the Queen of Myspace.
Tila Tequila in A Shot at Love
In 2003, Tequila- who was twenty-two at the time, made her debut on reality TV in the VH1 series, Surviving Nugent. After various appearances in shows such as Pants-Off Dance-Off (2006), THS Investigates: Online Nightmares (2006), and Bullrun: Cops, Cars & Superstars IV (2007), she received a big break when she was given her own reality series called A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila in 2017.
Created by Riley McCormick and developed by SallyAnn Salsano, the reality dating game series featured sixteen heterosexual males and sixteen lesbian-identified females (many of whom were not aware of the star’s bisexuality) who compete for Tequila’s love and affection while living at her house. Originally debuted on TV on October 9, 2007, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila proved to be popular upon its premiere, having debuted at number one; it was ultimately MTV’s second highest rated premiere of the year. One of the most watched shows on MTV at the time, its season finale drew in over 6.2 million viewers. Despite its popularity among fans, the show not only garnered mediocre reviews, but it was also the subject of a heated controversy- which revolved around a comment made by Tequila, which criticized churches for “bashing” gays.
The following spring, the subsequent sequel, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequilla premiered on April 22, 2008.
Tila Tequila’s Career as a Recording Artist
Having always been a musician at heart, the Texas-native signed with a recording label under A&M Records in the spring of 2006. Despite this, however, Tequila soon surprised everyone by releasing her first single called, I Love U independently through iTunes online; it was also accompanied by a music video which she produced herself.
On March 20, 2007, not long after the release of her first single, Tequila came out with her debut studio EP entitled, Sex. Although classified as a pop rock album, it incorporated elements from many other genres such as classical, new wave, and punk rock. Approximately twenty minutes in length, the EP contained six tracks- Intro, Sex, Rat Room, Summer Nightfalls, Lipstick Flavored Cherries, and Little Brat, all of which were written by Tequila through her alter ego, Jane.
In spite of the efforts that went into the release, Sex was generally panned by critics upon its release. For instance, Stephen Thomas Erlewine writing for Allmusic only awarded it one star, criticizing the extended play for its low production values.
Three years later, Tequila came out with her second studio EP entitled, Welcome to the Darkside. Released under the moniker Miss Tila, it contained only three tracks- despite her original plans of releasing a full-length album. A mix of club music, pop rock, and hip-hop, its production was handled by David Maurice and the TV personality herself. A step away from her previous work, it is noted for containing much heavier R&B sounds.
Recorded between 2009 and 2010, Welcome to the Darkside consisted of the tracks Get Me Off, Blue Dress, and Walking on Thin Ice, the last of which was later accompanied by a music video. Although Tequila tried to reinvent her image with the release, critical reception to her music was still mixed to negative. While some critics lauded her new, softer image, many pointed out the weakness of her vocals.
In addition to the singles released as part of her EPs, she has also recorded a number of non-album hits such as Stripper Friends, Paralyze, You Can Dance, and I Love U. In 2015, she was also featured in Yak Boy’s song, Drunk Dialing. Speaking of collaborations, Tequila has also worked with Dren and Glueazy & Ricky Ruckus in the 2008 track, Ballin’ Round the Clock.
Tila Tequila as an Actress
Although being an actress is not her main focus, she has appeared in a handful of films and TV series. In 2007, she made her official acting debut playing as a Hooters Girl in the romantic comedy, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry. Some of her other works include Robot Chicken (2008), $#*! My Dad Says (2011), and Masterminds (2012).
What’s Tila Tequila Doing Now in 2023 – Recent Updates
Tina hasn’t appeared on television in several years; her last appearance was in 15 Minutes in 2016. In 2015, she was expelled from Celebrity Big Brother after it was discovered that she’d previously made white nationalist and antisemitic comments.
Since then, she’s busied herself with other endeavors. For one thing, she’s started working on new music. In September 2016, she posted a snippet of a song titled, ‘Drunk Dialing,’ which she released later that year. She also announced that she would be releasing her own line of e-liquids in collaboration with Blaze Vapors.
In 2018, she also started going by another stage name, Tornado Thien. That same year, she posted a video on YouTube where she confessed that she was neither bisexual nor lesbian—that she had only pretended to be for the sake of ratings. In the video, she also associated homosexuality with the devil.
Speaking of YouTube, she’s actually quite active on the platform (she doesn’t have any other social media accounts – or rather, they’re no longer active). If anything, she posts almost every day—sometimes even more than that. As of 2023, she has 2.89K subscribers and her videos have been viewed more than 346,000 times.
She’s also a full-time mom. In November 2014, she gave birth to her first daughter, whom she has primary custody of (she and her ex-boyfriend split in 2013 due to financial problems). Her second daughter was born in September 2018.
It also appears that she’s given her life to Christ. In 2019, she started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of recording a gospel album. However, she was only able to raise $5,835, which was a fraction of her goal. As a result, the album never came to be. It’s currently unknown whether or not she plans on going back to it.