Born Tara Leigh Patrick in Sharonville, Ohio, Carmen Electra grew up in White Oak, Ohio. She is the youngest of five children and has Irish, German and Cherokee ancestry.
Electra briefly attended Walnut Hills High School, but graduated from Princeton High School in 1990. She is also said to have studied at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati.
According to her Web site, Carmen got her first break at 18 when a scout for Prince spotted her dancing and asked her to come and audition for the artist’s new video and tour.
She met and worked with the singer and produced an album with him in Minneapolis, and had an opening slot on the European leg of Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls" tour.
Her self-titled debut album for Prince’s Paisley Park label was released in 1992, and had a hit on the dance charts with "Get On Up" and "Go-Go Dancer."
According to Wikipedia, it was Prince who persuaded her to change her name to Carmen Electra.
Carmen underwent plastic surgery and first appeared in Playboy in May of 1996. She soon began hosting MTV’s "Loveline" dating talk show in 1996 and then replaced Jenny McCarthy as co-host of MTV’s "Singled Out" in 1997.
She also starred as part of the "Baywatch" cast in 1997 in the footsteps of Pamela Anderson.
Carmen also developed a comic book called “Embrace,” published by London Night Studios, an independent company.
On Nov. 14, 1998, Carmen married basketball star Dennis Rodman in Las Vegas’ Chapel of Flowers. The two divorced nearly six months later, in April 1999. She then had a brief affair with Tommy Lee, ex-husband of Pamela Anderson.
She gained more notoriety with appearances on "The Howard Stern Show," which aired on television at night on E! Entertainment Television.
Stern had repeatedly described himself as a huge fan of Electra, who produced memorable moments on Stern’s show when she was strapped to a chair and had her feet tickled and most recently in 2006 when she rode Stern’s “Sybian” orgasm machine, nearly losing her new job as the face of Max Factor cosmetics.
Electra’s husband Dave Navarro, former lead guitarist for Jane’s Addiction and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, admitted that his first time meeting Carmen was love at first sight. The two met on a blind date in 2001.
Carmen was named No. 59 in Stuff Magazine’s 102 Sexiest Women in the World in 2002, and appeared again as Playboy’s cover girl/centerfold in April 2003.
She and Navarro chronicled the months leading up to their wedding in a reality series for MTV, “’Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave” in 2003. Carmen and Dave’s show culminated in their wedding and reception on Nov. 22, 2003.
Carmen was also a member of The Pussycat Dolls in 2003, a burlesque dance troupe that dazzled Los Angeles before taking on Vegas. The group eventually expanded to music, releasing an album in 2004 that spawned several Top 40 hits.
Electra ended her participation though and formed her own dance group, the Bombshells, which debuted in February 2005.
She was also named No. 18 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2005, and has her own line of workout DVDs called “Striptease.” “Striptease” is a five-part series that provides a cardio workout through dance and stripping moves.
In 2006, Carmen admitted to having a crush on rocker Joan Jett as a little girl. She also admits to lusting after supermodel Kate Moss.
On July 17, 2006, Carmen and Navarro announced their separation, and on Aug. 10, 2006, Carmen officially filed for divorce. There were rumors of infidelity surrounding the breakup, but no formal reason was announced by either of the two.