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Tila Nguyen aka Tila Tequila

Although Tila Nguyen is of Vietnamese descent, she was born in Singapore where her family emigrated after the Vietnam War. Her family later moved to the Alief neighborhood of Houston, where she was raised. During most of her early childhood, her family lived in rundown housing before being admitted to a Buddhist temple. During that time, she spent most of her time in a gated community until her adolescent years, when she was released from the temple. As soon as she entered middle school, Nguyen developed a tomboy/bad girl attitude. Her behavior eventually caused her to be sent to a boarding school for six months before being transferred to another school.

In her first year of high school, Tila Nguyen frequently got into many fights. As she got older, she used her sister's identification card to enter nightclubs, where she began experimenting with drugs as well as joining a gang. In an interview with Import Tuner, Nguyen mentioned how she was trying to find 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, for a short time, helped turn her life around; however her gangbanger past caught up with her, and Nguyen fled to Queens where she returned to her previous decadent lifestyle. Once she returned to Texas, she had a three-way relationship with two other girlfriends until she decided she couldn't handle her lifestyle and she began to focus on her studies and her jobs.

Tila Nguyen realized her life would get worse if she lived in Texas, so she moved to Hollywood to pursue her career in entertainment and gained popularity through the Import Racing Scene. She has been featured on the cover of the magazine Import Tuner, at many car shows, including Hot Import Nights, and in the video game Street Racing Syndicate. She was also a contestant on VH1's Surviving Nugent, a reality TV show where she would do various compromising tasks and stunts for Ted Nugent.

Nguyen was featured on the cover of the April 2006 issue of Stuff magazine. In the interview, she claimed that her nickname "Tila Tequila" comes from her tendency to blush when she drinks alcohol. She was later included in Stuff's 100 Sexiest Women Online. Tila Nguyen also appeared on the cover of the August 2006 issue of Maxim magazine as well as being named #88 in their Hot 100 List. Nguyen was also the most frequent host on the first season of Fuse TV's dance show, Pants-Off Dance-Off.

Nguyen used modeling as a foot in the door for other career opportunities. At age twenty, she took interest in rock and started looking for bands willing to have her join and eventually assembled a band called Beyond Betty Jean. Through her run with the band, she gained enough skills and confidence to become a singer-songwriter. Following the break-up of Beyond Betty Jean, Tina Nguyen started working in recording studios to sharpen her vocal skills and write music. Nguyen became the lead singer of a band called Jealousy, who has been releasing songs over the Internet. Jealousy has appeared on MySpace Records' inaugural compilation album, released through MySpace Records/Interscope.

A major turn in Nguyen's music career occurred during the April 24, 2006 taping of Total Request Live. In an interview with the TRL VJs, will.i.am announced that Nguyen was signed to the will.i.am Music group, a record label under A&M Records. This marks Tila's first contract with a major record label.