Real Name: Amanda Lee Williford
Former Stage Name: Mandah
Born: January 22, 1981, Ruskin, Florida
Parents: Ralph & Donna Williford
Siblings: Heather & Aleece, Marcus
Willa is standing with a mic in her hand. She is wearing a shirt that drapes nicely over her breasts and her buff tummy.
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003) (singer: "I Wanna Be Bad")
A native Floridian, Willa was the youngest child of four in her family, and with her big voice and even-bigger personality, she was quite naturally the center of attention. "Ever since I could talk, I wanted to be a performer," she recalls. "I'd be in the middle of the living room, singing, and dancing, and doing somersaults."
At 8, Willa began singing with the Tampa Bay Children's Choir and by the time she was 11, she had started her professional career, enlisting with the Tampa-based children's performing arts troupe, Entertainment Revue. The group, comprised of 20 girls, aged five to 16, would put on variety shows throughout the region, performing at fairs and conventions, as well as at Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens.
Remarkably, Willa maintained honor student status as she continued to work with Entertainment Revue, where she eventually moved from the chorus into the role of featured soloist. At 15, she parted ways with the group to become one quarter of the short-lived vocal foursome called FLA. However, that outfit didn't last long and Willa was soon striking out on her own as a solo act.
Ford made her way to Los Angeles, where she began her career in earnest. In 1999 she first garnered public attention via a tour with the Backstreet Boys, as well as with a track on Atlantic's double-platinum "POKÉMON THE FIRST MOVIE - MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE MOTION PICTURE."
Unlike many of her contemporaries, Willa is determined to pen most of her own lyrics, many of which exemplify her outspoken attitude. "I mostly come up with stories from my own life," she says, "but I also think about stuff my friends are going through. And sometimes I just make up a character that I want to be, like 'I Wanna Be Bad.'"
Willa's musical influences are as adventurous as she is, ranging from pop icons like Madonna and R&B favorites such as Boyz II Men, Jodeci, and Mary J. Blige, to jazz vocalists such as Basia. In addition, Willa credits a most-unlikely source as an important inspiration for her own eclectic music. "I love Radiohead," she enthuses. "They've influenced me in the weirdest way. The craziness of their music, and being able to be so left-field and yet find an audience, that's so amazing."
Willa Ford Nude: