Willa Ford Articles, Interviews, and X-Scripts
Willa Ford and Ray J Urge Safe Sex
August 1, 2001
By Artie Jacob
They have two of the sexiest videos on the music scene, but bad girl Willa Ford and R&B smoothie Ray J want you to know that sometimes it's better to wait a minute and play it safe when it comes to sex.
Willa and Ray J recently took time out to film a short public service announcement encouraging teenagers to act responsibly and think before they have sex.
"I think it's important to give kids a positive message and inspire them to do good and slow it down," Ray J told Katrillion. "When they see role models out there doing positive things, they tend to do it, too."
If you've seen the music videos for Ray J's "Wait a Minute" and Willa's "I Wanna Be Bad," you might think these two are unlikely candidates for a PSA telling kids to practice abstinence or safe sex.
In her video, Willa shows how bad she can be, provocatively shaking her booty in skimpy hot pants. Ray J, meanwhile, uses his sexy moves to try to get his groove on in the video for "Wait a Minute."
But while these two 20-year-olds flash their stuff for the camera, they want to make it clear that the best move you'll ever make is to play it safe.
"Who better than Ray J and I to state that message, since we get so much flak for putting out the message of being sexy?" Willa asked. "People say, 'Do you think you're doing your part to get the right message out to teens?' Yeah, we're doing our part."
The PSA, which is still in post-production, should make its way to TV later this year.
Five Questions With Willa Ford
AUGUST 22, 2001
By CHRISTY LEMIRE
AP Entertainment Writer
Willa Ford says she wants to be bad, but maybe she's still figuring out what she wants to be.
The 20-year-old pop singer has some serious hip-hop influences on her debut CD, ``Willa Was Here,'' but these days, she's listening to Radiohead and Linkin Park.
She struts in a dominatrix get-up in the video for her hit ``I Wanna Be Bad,'' but she's a Baptist who credits God for her inner strength.
One thing she doesn't want to be is known simply as Nick Carter's ex-girlfriend. The Tampa, Fla., native, whose full name is Amanda Williford, dated the Backstreet Boy for three years and lived with him and the five dogs they share, which made her the target of massive adolescent hatred.
When she was the opening act for the Backstreet Boys' 1999 tour, angry girls held up signs that said ``Die Willa,'' and an Internet search reveals dozens of sites that condemn her as a ``talentless loser cow'' and ``just another pop star wannabe.''
1. How much of the bad girl persona is really you?
Ford: It's the first side that came out to the world, so everybody associates me with it. Like, I met Jermaine Dupri and he's like, `Oh, you're the bad girl.' That's a side, but every girl has that side. Every girl wants to be a dominatrix every once in a while. Not everybody has a huge, you know, video to do it in. So of course I'm gonna take advantage of the video and do it. But there are so many other sides to Willa.
2. How hard is it to differentiate yourself in the crowd of young, blond pop singers?
Ford: It's really, really hard, but you've gotta understand that as the artist and as Willa, I understand that the general public sees black and white when you first come out. They don't understand who you are. I don't expect them to know. They want to learn about you, but a lot of people are so closed-minded that right away it's just like, she's white, she's blond, this is who she is. ... And I came out late in the game. ... I'm the only one since Jessica (Simpson) and Mandy (Moore). ... I'm the only one that survived. Like, I'm it. You gotta look at that and think, nobody else could do it, but I broke it. ... It's quite an accomplishment.
3. Your CD has gotten some harsh reviews. Does that bother you?
Ford: No. ... Here's my review to them: You're all disgruntled musicians who never made it, and you're so bitter with pop music that sells records because you didn't get that opportunity. They're all player-haters. ... And there were some good reviews, too. Like, somebody said something about, `We didn't expect to hear the soul come out of her that we did. We underestimated her. There's a lot more soul coming out of that white girl than we thought.' And I was just like, `Wow, that was cool.' Those aren't my critics. My critic is myself. ... I know my music's bangin'.
4. How do you know which people to trust in the music industry?
Ford: This business is full of wonderful people. You just gotta be careful and pick 'em right. And it's also full of sleazy jerks. But I can smell 'em comin' from a mile away. I'm good at that. Because I'm so, like, real, if somebody does anything, like, remotely fake, I'm like, `Oh, I can see through that.' And I don't prejudge them, but I'll be very wary and careful of them.
5. Your lyrics are pretty racy, yet in the liner notes of your CD, your first thanks go to God. How do you reconcile that?
Ford: I don't think my God wants you judging me. He made me who I am. He's given me this strong willpower. He gave me the blessings and the gifts to be in the public eye. I'm doing with it all that I know to do. And in return, I'm giving back. ... The whole trick is, as much as you take, you have to give back. And, like, I'm totally game for that.
Ford Still Friends With Nick Carter
AUGUST 22, 2001
By The Associated Press
Willa Ford is still friends with her ex-boyfriend, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. After all, they share five dogs; Ford has the teacup Pomeranian, a miniature Maltese and a pug, and Carter has another pug and a boxer.
The 20-year-old pop singer said she and the 21-year-old Carter, who dated for three years, didn't talk at first after breaking up in October, but now they're friends again.
``We learned a lot together. We went through so much at such a young age,'' Ford told The Associated Press. ``We were put in front of all these people so quickly and were so ridiculed.''
As Carter's girlfriend, Ford was the target of massive adolescent hatred. When she was the opening act for the Backstreet Boys' 1999 tour, angry girls held up signs that said ``Die Willa.''
``I think at the end of the day, he knows that I caught the brunt of it. Like, I really got the bad part because I wasn't the boy band celebrity at the time,'' she said. ``I think he feels bad that it happened.''
Willa Psyched? Hell Yeah!
The official Pantene Pro-Voice spokesgirl has had a trippy 2001 so far. Her debut single, "I Wanna Be Bad," started banging up the airwaves and MTV in April, weeks before its May release. July will be a big deal for Willa, with her Pro-Voice concert and the debut of her album, "Willa Was Here." And she's ready: "The concert's gonna be so much fun. I've even got all my friends flying in for it. I can't wait to see the amazing talent that night."
We wanted Willa to be involved because she's exactly what Pro-Voice is all about: an independent woman who is staying true and working hard to see her musical goals take shape. We didn't want some superstellar diva who can't remember what it's like to drive her own car! We wanted someone who can relate.
"I tried every angle and every competition to get to where I am so I would have been the first to enter Pantene Pro-Voice," she says. "It's another opportunity to express yourself and reach for a dreamand it's for girls!"
Willa's got some advice for the finalists who want to burn up the stage: "You better be rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. And then don't forget to rehearse!! And eat your Wheaties 'cause there is gonna be some fierce female competition up in Central Park on July 19th!"
You Go (Get Famous ) Girl!
January 11, 2001
By Latoya Hunter
Tired of pretending your hairbrush is a microphone? A new contest created by hair care brand Pantene can put you on the fast track to stardom.
The Pro-Voice Music Competition is open to 14-24 year old females (Sorry, fellas!) and is designed to show how music can be used to foster self-esteem. Rising pop star Willa Ford will host a Big Apple event today, to kick off the competition.
"It's another opportunity to express yourself and reach for a dream," Willa said in a statement.
So, if you want to be the next Britney, Lil' Kim or Spice Girls, here's the deal: You are required to write and perform an original song in the music genre of your choice. Five finalists will be selected to compete for the grand prize in July.
The winner gets a coveted demo recording contract with Atlantic Records, multiple performances as the opening act on an established artist's summer concert tour, a new Ford Focus, and more! Complete contest info is available at the Pro-Voice website.
Willa advises contestants, "Be yourself, be confident and kick ass!"