Willa Ford Left Music Because 9/11 Overshadowed Her Second Single. Okay.
Willa Ford hasn't had an album since 2001, and the one-time pop star has finally revealed why she believes her career vanished: 9/11.
I know what you're thinking. "Willa Ford? I haven't heard that name in years. Why do I know who she is?" Let us refresh your memory.
She had a hit single in the summer of 2001, with "I Wanna Be Bad."
Ten years ago, she played Anna Nicole Smith in the direct-to-video The Anna Nicole Smith Story, not to be confused with Lifetime's The Anna Nicole Story.
She's appeared in small roles elsewhere too over the past 15-plus years, like Friday the 13th and The Glades, but musically, Willa Ford hasn't been up to much since 2001's Willa Was Here. It turns out there's a reason, and it happens to be one of the biggest attacks on America in our history.
In an interview with Billboard, Ford talked a bit about what she's been up to since vanishing off the charts (interior design, occasionally acting) after "I Wanna Be Bad" was a nominal hit in the summer of 2001.
A lot of people don’t realize this, but my second single was released on September 11, 2001. 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.
Ford rightfully expresses that the entire nation turned its attention elsewhere, and the latest pop single wasn't exactly on anyone's mind that day, week, or even the months following that devastating day.
However, the bigger reason, that had nothing to do with 9/11, is that Ford's record label was bought out by another company later that same year. Support for Willa's freshman effort and subsequent follow-up then waned as new leadership wasn't all that interested in her as an artist.
The record company I was with at the time got acquired by another record company, and the president of our record company left the company. So, I ended up in no man’s land.
For what it's worth, Ford seemed at least a little happy to walk away, and seems to love her life with her family, and her career as an interior designer. Still, the 36 year old singer does miss being on the road, and would "love to hit the gay club circuit" because she loves the enthusiasm of her many fans in the LGBT community.
Though a record and comeback aren't necessarily on the table, Ford hinted that a country album would certainly be a priority given her upbringing on a farm and time in Nashville.
As Ford explained, Kylie Minogue had a hit with "The Loco-motion," and then didn't come back for another 20 years with another album, so there's still time for her to stage a comeback as well. (That's independent of the fact that between 1988's Kylie and 2001's Fever, Kylie Minogue released six other albums, and always maintained her relevance around the world.)
Revisionist pop history aside, early 2000s nostalgia is so hot right now, so maybe the time is right for a Willa Ford comeback. Or not.
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