Willa Ford blames September 11 attacks for why she's a one-hit wonder


Willa Ford has an interesting explanation for why her career struggled after her hit 2001 song, "I Wanna Be Bad."

Fans may remember the now 36-year-old singer when she was grouped in the pop category among her contemporaries at the time -- Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore -- though she failed to produce any more hits after her sultry debut. Ford opens up about her short-lived singing career in a new interview with Billboard and says that the release of her second single on 9/11 was the kiss of death for her.

"A lot of people don't realize this, but my second single was released on September 11, 2001," Ford says. "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."

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"I know that sounds silly, but on radio they slate things, but it really fell to the wayside," she continues.

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 02: Singer Willa Ford arrives at the 14th Annual Inspiration Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 2, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 02: Singer-songwriter Willa Ford attends the 14th Annual Inspiration Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 2, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 08: Singer/actress Willa Ford attends the Power of Giving Holiday event and benefit for The Ryan Nece Foundation and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA at Riva Bella on December 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Willa Ford attends the 6th Annual 'Night of Generosity' Gala benefiting generosity.org at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on December 5, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Willa Ford attends the 6th Annual 'Night of Generosity' Gala benefiting generosity.org at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on December 5, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 08: Singer/actress Willa Ford attends the Power of Giving Holiday event and benefit for The Ryan Nece Foundation and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA at Riva Bella on December 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vincent Sandoval/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 05: Willa Ford attends the 6th annual Night of Generosity gala at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on December 5, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: Singer Willa Ford arrives at Power Of Giving Holiday Benefit hosted by FOX Sports 1 analyst Ryan Nece at Aventine Hollywood on December 10, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Redmond/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 10: Singer Willa Ford attends the Power of Giving Holiday Fundraiser to benefit Mattel Children's Hospital and the Ryan Nece foundation at Aventine Hollywood on December 10, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jennifer Lourie/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Willa Ford attends the 4th annual Face Forward LA Gala at Fairmont Miramar Hotel on September 28, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Willa Ford attends the 4th annual Face Forward LA Gala at Fairmont Miramar Hotel on September 28, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
CENTURY CITY, CA - MAY 19: Recording Artist Willa Ford attends the 28th Annual Sports Spectacular Anniversary Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on May 19, 2013 in Century City, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Willa Ford arrives at the Art of Elysium's Pre-Emmy GENESIS event at Siren Orange Studios on September 21, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11: Willa Ford arrives at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 11: Mike Modano and Willa Ford arrive at the 2012 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Actress Willa Ford attends the ESPN 'Body Issue' celebration party at Belasco Theatre on July 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 10: Actress Willa Ford attends the ESPN 'Body Issue' celebration party at Belasco Theatre on July 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
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Ford goes on to explain that she was also affected negatively by record company turnovers, and ended up in "no man's land" when the president of her record company left. She says she then decided to take a step back from the music business after feeling that what she was doing wasn't "authentic" anymore.

"I felt like this pop machine had taken me and put me in the wash cycle and I had been spinning out of control," she recalls. "I wanted some time to refocus myself. I started re-evaluating what I was doing. I was a classical opera singer with musical theory -- a real, legit musician. I loved what I was doing -- I wrote the songs, but I felt like the authenticity wasn't there."

"I knew that it wasn't going to have the staying power that I wanted it to have," she continues. "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. It's really hard when you walk away to go back to it."

Ford says she's grateful that she still has fans, especially her "loving gays."

"I've had so many guys be like, 'Listen, I figured out I was gay because I realized from your music videos I didn't want to screw you -- I wanted to be you,'" she says.

Ford -- who's also dabbled in acting and is now a full-time interior designer -- shares that she's definitely thought about reviving her singing career, crediting Kylie Minogue as her inspiration.

"When I look at Kylie Minogue, she did [her comeback] really right," she explains. "She did 'Loco-Motion,' she went away for 20 years -- which is almost how long I've gone away -- and then she comes back with this amazing dance-pop record. For me it was groundbreaking in the States. I really do miss music. It's my first passion, my first love."

And she's definitely up for touring -- with her husband, former NFL linebacker Ryan Nece, and their 10-month-old son, Elijah, in tow.

"If the [new] music did well, I'd love to hit the gay club circuit because it would be so empowering and fun every night," she muses. "I used to say I didn't want to have a family on the road, I think it's about having the right family on the road. I think it would be a blast with my husband and child. I miss being on the road more than any of it."

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Ford competed on Dancing With the Stars in 2006, and according to her pro partner at the time, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the two dated.

Watch the video above to see Chmerkovskiy dish on more former partners, including Hope Solo and Misty May-Treanor.

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'Dancing With the Stars' season 23 couple portraits
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'Dancing With the Stars' season 23 couple portraits
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, LAURIE HERNANDEZ
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) AMBER ROSE, MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, SHARNA BURGESS
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) MARILU HENNER, DEREK HOUGH
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) MAUREEN MCCORMICK, ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LINDSAY ARNOLD, CALVIN JOHNSON JR.
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) RICK PERRY, EMMA SLATER
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) WITNEY CARSON, VANILLA ICE
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) KENNY 'BABYFACE' EDMONDS, ALLISON HOLKER
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JENNA JOHNSON, JAKE T. AUSTIN
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JANA KRAMER, GLEB SAVCHENKO
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) TERRA JOLÃ, SASHA FARBER
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) VALENTIN CHMERKOVSKIY, LAURIE HERNANDEZ
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) JAMES HINCHCLIFFE, SHARNA BURGESS
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) MARILU HENNER, DEREK HOUGH
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) MAUREEN MCCORMICK, ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) LINDSAY ARNOLD, CALVIN JOHNSON JR.
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) RICK PERRY, EMMA SLATER
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) VANILLA ICE, WITNEY CARSON
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) ALLISON HOLKER, KENNY 'BABYFACE' EDMONDS
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) GLEB SAVCHENKO, JANA KRAMER
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2301' - 'Dancing with the Stars' is back with its most dynamic cast yet and ready to hit the ballroom floor. The competition begins with the two-hour season premiere, live, MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) TERRA JOLÃ, SASHA FARBER
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