Willa Ford says her career stalled after her 2001 hit “I Wanna Be Bad” because of 9/11.
“I Wanna Be Bad,” which featured Royce da 5’9”, peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, but her second single, “Did Ya’ Understand That,” failed to even chart.
“It was the perfect storm,” Ford said in an interview with Billboard, published Thursday. “A lot of people don’t realize this, but my second single was released on Sept. 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.”
According to E! Online, Mariah Carey, Bob Dylan, Ben Folds, Jay Z and Nickelback all released full-length albums on Sept. 11, 2001. Ford also said she’s aware that blaming her failed music career on the national tragedy “sounds silly.”
“On radio they slate things, but it really fell to the wayside,” she added. “I didn’t think it was a big deal because we were making a new album anyway. 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. 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. I wanted some time to refocus myself. I started re-evaluating what I was doing.”
Saying she wanted to take a step back from her career because she felt she wasn’t doing what she wanted to, she added, “It was the perfect storm, and I walked away.”
Ford has starred in various feature films including “Friday the 13th” and “Anna Nicole,” the biopic about the late Anna Nicole Smith. She has also appeared in TV series like “Magic City” and “Leverage.”