Lita Ford (born 19 September 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 between the 1980s and late 2000s. Lita Ford was born to a British father and an Italian mother in London, England. She moved with her family to the United States at the age of 4 and began playing the guitar at the age of 11. Her vocal range is mezzo-soprano.
In 1975 at the age of 16 she joined the all-female rock band The Runaways, for whom she played lead guitar. They would score a record deal and have their first album released in 1976. Lita Ford's guitar skills made her a driving force in the band and a permanent member from her arrival to the band's eventual break-up.
In 1979, disagreements were erupting within the band, who had since parted ways with both producer Kim Fowley and lead singer Cherie Currie. Rhythm guitarist Joan Jett and bassist Vicki Blue wanted the band to shift more towards Ramones-influenced punk music while Ford and drummer Sandy West wanted to continue playing hard rock-oriented songs. With neither side being able to compromise, the band finally broke up that year.
After the group split in 1979, Ford began a solo career. Her first album Out for Blood as well as the title single were released in 1983 and failed on the charts. The next effort, 1984's Dancin' on the Edge achieved moderate success. It included the single "Fire In My Heart" which reached the Top 10 in several countries but not the US. 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 because Ford did not like the production of the album and this upset the head of her record label, leading to Ford switching from Mercury Records to RCA Records. By the time Ford returned again, the lighter pop-metal she had long favoured 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 "Kiss Me Deadly", "Back To The Cave", "Close My Eyes Forever", and "Falling In And Out Of Love" (co-written with Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe). The ballad "Close My Eyes Forever", a duet with Sharon's husband Ozzy Osbourne, was 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, which featured her last charting single "Shot Of Poison". 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. During her solo years, she was an endorser of B.C. Rich guitars and used Warlock, Eagle, Mockingbird and Bich single and double-neck models.
Ford appears in the 1992 film Highway to Hell as 'The Hitchhiker'. In 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.
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 released a new album Wicked Wonderland on 6 October 2009 via JLRG Entertainment.