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In 1974, when ANITA WARD enrolled at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, her ambition in life was to, "just be someone ordinary, like a school teacher." That was two platinum records, a gold album, and Grammy award nomination ago.
"Ring My Bell" was one of Anita Ward's most successful hits. For the better part of 1979, her soaring voice would be heard on every radio station in the country. This song swept the disco scene and kept other upcoming songs at bay. It was the Number One record in the United States, Canada, Central America, South America, and even Israel. By the early 1990s this record had sold over 10 million copies.
"It was unbelievable," Ward recalls. "Overnight I was suddenly a household name. I was treated like I was someone special. People would come up to me and ask if they could touch me."
With the success of "Ring My Bell," Anita Ward went on an extensive tour in the United States and Europe. She also toured Central and South America, Mexico, and Brazil. "The Midnight Special," "The Merv Griffin Show," "American Bandstand," and "Top Of The Pops" in England were among television appearances she made during the reign of her hit record.
The oldest daughter of a minister and homemaker, Anita started singing at age nine in the church choir. At the age of 14, she was spotted at a high school talent show by an enterprising young producer who wanted to sign her to a recording contract. But her parents thought that she was too young and wouldn't budge with the idea. Her singing idols were Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. At Rust College, she sang in the school's a cappella choir, singing in cathedrals from Portland, Oregon to Romania.
After having toured both in and out of the country, Ward chose to pursue a teaching career, which she had started prior to her worldwide hit. Although she's now a full-time wife, mother, and teacher, the music within her will never die.
An AIDES Benefit Show for the poor and homeless was held in Paris, France recently in June, 1995. Ward was a featured guest artist, along with Grace Jones, The Village People, Gloria Gaynor, Imagination, and many others.
"I'm going out there with a lot more fire and determination, because now I've truly lived the songs I sing," Ward says. "I'm not cocky, just confident."