You may not remember who Willa Ford is because the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 marked the end of her short-lived career as a pop artist, in her own opinion.
Ford burst onto the music scene with he hit single, “I Wanna Be Bad,” but her follow-up single didn’t see the same success. The former pop star’s second single was released on the same day as the terrorist attacks on 9/11, which Ford believes caused her second single slump and the eventual end to her career.
“A lot of people don’t realize this, but my second single was released on September 11, 2001,” Ford told Billboard in an interview published earlier this week. “Everything that happened that day froze; the world stood still, as it should have. My second single didn’t do well because anything that launched that day kind of got canned.”
“I know that sounds silly,” Ford admitted, “but it really fell to the wayside. I didn’t think it was a big deal because we were making a new album anyway.”
In addition to the tragic events on the day of her second single’s release the record company she was with got acquired by another and Ford found herself in “no man’s land.”
“At that time, my sister had a baby, and I felt like this pop machine had taken me and put me in the wash cycle and I had been spinning out of control,” Ford told Billboard. “I wanted some time to refocus myself. I started re-evaluating what I was doing.”
Then Ford realized that her time in the spotlight alongside Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore was fading.
“I knew that it wasn’t going to have the staying power that I wanted it to have. I really took a step back because I felt like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing at the time. I know that sounds crazy, but it was the perfect storm, and I walked away.”
The 36-year-old singer has been working as an interior designer ever since and doesn’t know if she’ll ever return to music. “It’s really hard when you walk away to go back to it,” she said, but “I really do miss music. It’s my first passion, my first love.”