When looking at the biggest hits of the disco era, you won't go far before running into the huge 1997 smash by Anita Ward, "Ring My Bell." It became the only notable hit from the short career of the talented southern singer.
Before signing a recording contract, Ward obtained a degree in psychology from Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and had become a schoolteacher. While Ward was recording her debut album, record label owner Frederick Knight presented her with a song he had written the previous year for Stacy Lattisaw. Ward did not like the song, but Knight insisted that a dance track was needed to capitalize on the current disco trend, and Ward relented. The song, which was originally a juvenile-targeted tune about teens talking on the telephone, was rewritten with more 'adult' lyrics and the result was the single "Ring My Bell". The single reached number one in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada in 1979. "Ring My Bell" has been remixed and released several times since its original release. After the huge success of "Ring My Bell", "Make Believe Lovers", which was the b-side on most 12" singles for "Ring My Bell", was released, but it failed to chart.
Ward released a second album that same year; Sweet Surrender featured the minor hit "Don't Drop My Love", which peaked at #87 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album, similar to Songs Of Love, was disco-infused. A third album was shelved due to contractual issues, but the recordings were later included on several later compilations. These disputes with Frederick Knight, a severe car accident Ward later was in, and the fading appeal of disco music halted Ward's career, and she came to be regarded as a one-hit wonder.
It was a decade before Ward recorded again, and she released Wherever There's Love in 1989. The album was recorded in the United States, but was only released internationally as it had no US distributor. The album was a departure from Ward's disco past, but still contained mostly fast-tempo '80s pop songs, in addition to two ballads. It spawned one single "Be My Baby", which was released in Australia, but it did not chart there. After both the album and single "Be My Baby" failed to chart, Ward took another hiatus from the music industry, focusing on her family and her daughter who was born shortly after the release of Wherever There's Love.
In early 2011, it was announced that Ward was back in the studio working on a brand new album titled It's My Night. The first single, also titled "It's My Night" was released to iTunes on May 20, 2011. The single is produced by producer Gilflo.