UPDATE 9:46AM PT on 7/28: After her comments made headlines across the Internet, Ford clarified her remarks to PEOPLE.
"In a recent interview with Billboard, I made a comment about the release of a single by my record label on September 11, 2001, where I stated 'Everything that happened that day froze; the world stood still as it should have.' During the past day, other news outlets have taken the liberty to say that I somehow blamed 9/11 for my song not taking off … this could not be further from the truth."
"It was meant to be an inspirational piece about how the universe sent me in a new and different direction, one that has led me to success and joy in other areas of my personal and professional life."
Original post below ...
In 2001, Willa Ford was a "TRL" mainstay thanks to her song and music video for "I Wanna Be Bad," but then she all but vanished.
So, what happened? According to Ford, 9/11.
"A lot of people don't realize this, but my second single was released on September 11, 2001," Ford explained in a new interview with Billboard. "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, but on radio they slate things, but it really fell to the wayside."
Though Ford was still optimistic about her career because she had a second album already in the works, things at her record company fell apart shortly after her single stalled.
"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," she said. "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."
Ford calls the above "the perfect storm" that led to her walking away from music.
Now 36, Ford is a married mother-of-one who works full time in the interior design world. "I started doing it for friends and everyone was loving what I was doing. It was word of mouth," she explained. "I did a movie, and the producer of the movie asked me to work on their home. Before I knew it, I was doing really high-end homes. Now I have three employees and myself with the new firm."
When asked if she'd return to the world of music, she said "it's harder than it sounds."
"I have a family now, so it's something that I need to have the support of my husband, and I have a child now," she added. "It's one of those things I've been thinking about, and when it's time, I'll reach out to the right producers."