Lita Ford (born September 19, 1958) is a British-born, American rock musician and singer who was the lead guitarist for The Runaways and achieved popularity for her solo career during the 1980s.
Ford was born Carmelita Rossanna Ford to a British father and an Italian mother in London, England. She moved with her family to the United States at age 4. She began playing the guitar at age 11. Her vocal range is mezzo-soprano.
In 1975 at the age of 17 she joined the all-female rock band The Runaways, for whom she played lead guitar.
After the group split in 1979, she began a solo career. Her first album, Out for Blood including the title single was released in 1983 and hadn't a luck to charts. The next effort, Dancin' on the Edge of 1984 got a moderate success. It included the single "Fire In My Heart" which reached the Top 10 in several countries. The next single "Gotta Let Go" was one of Ford's biggest hits. It reached Number One on the Mainstream Rock charts.
Ford toured extensively and made several guest appearances on TV shows for the next four years, but had no releases; a follow-up to Dancin' On The Edge, titled The Bride Wore Black, was abandoned and never released due to the fact Ford did not like the production of the album and this upset the head of her record label causing Ford to switch from Mercury Records to RCA Records. By the time Ford returned again, the lighter pop-metal she had long favored had broken through to mainstream audiences, which set the stage for her most commercially successful album, 1988's Lita. With Sharon Osbourne as her manager, and again produced by herself, the album featured four commercial hits, including the #1 "Kiss Me Deadly", #9 "Back To The Cave", #2 "Close My Eyes Forever", and #3 "Falling In And Out Of Love" (co-written with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe). The ballad "Close My Eyes Forever," was a duet with Ozzy Osbourne. It was also her only Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 hit, reaching #8.
Her next release was called Stiletto. It featured the singles "Hungry" and "Lisa" (the second was dedicated to her mother). However this album was not as successful as Dancin' On The Edge and Lita.
Ford's next release was Dangerous Curves. Ford's last release would be with ZYX Records and would be titled Black. It failed to repeat the success of 1991's Dangerous Curves.
Ford was asked by VH-1 to be in the cast of "The Surreal Life" for its 7th season, in 2007. She declined.
Ford appears in the 1992 film Highway to Hell as 'The Hitchhiker'.
During her solo years, she was an endorsee of B.C. Rich guitars and used Warlock, Eagle, Mockingbird and Bich single and double-neck models.
In mid June 2008, Ford and her new solo band played several warm up gigs prior to Rocklahoma under the name Kiss Me Deadly in the New York City area.
Return to stage 2008, new album and tour 2009
For the first time in 15 years, Lita Ford took the stage in her only North American appearance at Rocklahoma, in Pryor, Oklahoma, July 12. Her new band was drummer Stet Howland (W.A.S.P.), Teddy Cook (Dio), Michael Cavanagh (Bent Pussycat/The Backseat Devils and Michael T. Ross (Angel/XYZ). In June 2009, Lita began touring the US and Europe, with a new line-up consisting of Ron 'Bumblefoot' Thal (Guns N' Roses guitarist, 2006 - present) on guitar, Dennis Leeflang (Bumblefoot drummer) and PJ Farley on bass (Trixter, Ra) and Michael T. Ross (Angel/XYZ).
Ford will release her new album Wicked Wonderland on October 6, 2009 and will be playing a 75 date tour.
Lita Ford is married to Jim Gillette, of the band Nitro. With him she has two sons, with their first son having been born on Jim and Lita's third wedding anniversary. She was previously married to W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, and was engaged to Black Sabbath leader/guitarist Tony Iommi in the mid-1980s.
In 2010, Ford will be portrayed by actress Scout Taylor-Compton in the movie The Runaways.