Amanda Lee Williford-Modano (born
January 22, 1981), known professionally as Willa Ford and often as Mandy
Modano, is an American 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.
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.
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
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 of 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
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.
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 Vegas 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 photo shoot featured in the January 2007 issue of Maxim,
where she reflected on her experience on Dancing with the Stars.
She was also on Calvin Ayre's Poker Show, a fashion show of Love Jones and
2006 Valentine's Day show with DJ AM, Cindy Margolis Nicollette Sheridan
at a club located on Las Vegas.
Ford and hockey player 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 Mike
were featured in an episode of MTV Cribs'
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 Joe
were also attended the film's Los Angeles premiere . As of Octorber 10,
She has been casted as Becca of dreamfly production's new movie,